The team behind the scenes

Quentin Stepp, writer

Over 2000 students and community members came to see the play Mary Poppins at KHS from April 14-16, but all they saw was the finished product. There is a group of people that work for hours every day before the plays to prepare for opening night: the crew. Greg Booth, math teacher, said a play would not be complete without every crew.

“We build, we paint, we make costumes, [and] we do the lighting,” Booth said.  “If any one of those pieces is missing, it will affect the show.”

Booth said he runs all aspects of the crew. In Mary Poppins, the crew itself was split into six groups: light board operators, sound board operators, spotlight operators, fly operators, scenery, props, costume crew and set and costume crew.

Booth said this year’s play was more challenging than usual for the crew members because they had to make Mary Poppins fly. The crew fundraised to pay Vertigo, an outside company, to set it up for them.

“We have flown people before on our equipment, but we never had to have that kind of movement so we hired a company,” Booth said.

According to Grace Banjak, freshman on crew, each part is vital to the success of the play, and no group is more important than the other.

“It’s a lot of fun, but it’s a lot of hard work,” Kara Elbert, freshman paint crew member, said. “I think if you’re not willing to put in the work then you shouldn’t do it.”

Banjak said the people on the crew are, for the most part, a tight-knit group with lots of close bonds and friendships, and while many crew members are friends with the actors, the two groups work apart for the majority of the time.

“We mostly work separate until the last two weeks,” Booth said. “We prepare our part, they prepare their part and in the last two weeks we come together.”

Elbert said a crew is vital to the success of a play, but there is so much more than the crew than just building sets and making costumes. She said the 37 people on crew enjoy both their work and each other.

“I loved the experience and I loved the people I got to work with,” Banjak said. “There’s nothing like it.”