Curtains up on new club

Go behind the scenes with theater technology club

Theresa Vimbanayi Chowa|Staff Writer

A theater production is more than actors reading lines from a script. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes such as building and designing the set, choosing the lighting, hair styling and costume design. As of April 12, Whitworth has a club where students can learn those crafts. 

The theater technology club,  United States Institute for Theater Technology, is for students who are interested in the technical aspect of theater. 

“[Theater technology] is a field that is hard to learn unless you have a lot of field work and practical experience,” club president juniors Amanda Sheller said. “We are hoping by starting this club it will give students the opportunity to learn.”

The club is partnered with the national organization of the same name, United States Institute forTheater Technology, whichconnects professionals in theater technology, helps students find internships, and hosts conventions every year.  The club officers are junior Amanda Sheller, sophomore Dillon King and sophomore Grady O’Shea. 

Sheller started the club because last spring the national USITT held a workshop on rigging, the art of hanging sets. Students wanted to attend but could not since they were not a member of the organization. 

Sheller met with a few students who were interested in theater technology and they have been trying to get the club chartered for a year. 

“I hope it provides experience and opportunities to learn new areas from theater that people don’t know exist,” Sheller said. “I hope to have more people interested in this. This is something that is a lot of fun and I love it.”

The club isn’t just for theater majors. Anybody who is interested in theater is welcome the join, Sheller said. They are going to offer workshops on thebasics of set design, lighting, sound and costume design for anyone who is new to the theater department.

“I was involved in lighting and sound in high school, so maybe I will join the new club,” freshman Khristian Paul said.

Technical director Maria Sorce is the club’s adviser. It is her second year at Whitworth.

“There are students that get a lot of work in the theater and get exposure through their work in the shop but they wanted more than that,” Sorce said.

Last year she took a group of students to atheater technology conference and that group of students wanted to become more involved in technical theater, Sorce said.

“I hope the club helps students gain a greater knowledge of how a show is put together and what it takes to have lighting, sound, etc. in a stage performance,” she said.

The USITT club committee has not yet decided what specific events they will host, as most of the activities they will be involved in will be organized by the National Theater Technology Institute.

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