Behind the curtains

The+crew+works+continuously+to+ensure+that+sets+and+costumes+look+their+best+for+every+play+and+musical.

Ava McGovern

The crew works continuously to ensure that sets and costumes look their best for every play and musical.

The KH players stage crew makes sure that the spotlights are shining and the scene is set onstage as the cast rehearses scenes. The crew is a part of what makes the plays at KHS worth watching.

While the KH Players put their costumes on and practice their lines, the stage crew makes sure that the spotlights are shining and the scene is set onstage. The stage crew is part of what makes the plays at KHS worth watching.

“The cast and crew are very isolated from each other, [but] we’re very similar in a sense that we [know] what needs to be done,” Owen McMahon, senior and set designer for the fall play, As You Like It, said. “[Being on the crew] builds good leadership skills.”

Morgan Kuhlmann, senior, is an assistant stage manager. Kuhlmann oversees the work of the crew, such as costume design and set building. She works with the assistant stage manager to make sure everything onstage runs smoothly.

There’s a lot of cool people on [the] crew, and it’s nice to get to know them and hang out.”

— Ayla Burba

“ I [communicate through a] headset with the people [in charge of curtains and changing sets], the stage manager, people on sound, the people on lights,” Kuhlmann said.

For Kuhlmann, joining the crew was a way of getting involved with something new. She had never thought about joining stage crew until high school.

“I’ve always been interested in theater, [but] I’ve never really had the talent for onstage,” Kuhlmann said. “I decided to randomly [join the costume crew during] freshman year.”

Ayla Burba, senior, is on the run crew, which is responsible for moving the sets onstage during scene switches.

“In As You Like It, we have some buildings that we have to move whenever there’s a scene change,” Burba said. “[The run crew has] a bit less to do than usual for this show. We have less scene changes. This time we have three [and] the most [changes] we’ve had was 20. ”

Burba has been interested in drama since middle school.

“In middle school I did have one supporting role with ten lines, but that was enough of an acting experience for me. I like crew better,” Burba said.

The crew stays flexible when they face challenges. McMahon says the set crew encountered a mishap when rehearsing a scene.

“[The] cloth that [usually reflects the lighting] ripped last year and we had to get a new one,” McMahon said. “In the theater there’s a backdrop which keeps the light so it doesn’t dissipate so it can shine on the stage, its called a psych, we used the [fabric] to make trees [as part of the set].”

I really like watching it all come together, and knowing that I’m part of the reason why the show is happening.”

— Morgan Kuhlmann

McMahon has done school plays since middle school. He took his passion for theater with him when he started high school.

“I wasn’t in the Kirkwood School District in middle school, but I did do acting at my other school.” said McMahon. “ I’ve seen a lot of [KHS’ past] productions. The first time I did a show [at KHS] was last year.” He said because of the COVID-19 pandemic he hesitated to join the crew. “

McMahon also said he wouldn’t have been on crew if it weren’t for his older sister.

“[My sister] told me about crew, and so I decided to [join it].,” McMahon said. “Since [she] graduated, I like to think I’ve taken her crown.”

Kuhlmann says the crew has a different process for every play since they have a different setting and energy.

“I really like watching it all come together, and knowing that I’m part of the reason why the show is happening,” she said.