Is that really rain?

The behind-the-scenes work has Once on this Island sizzling


Jackie Flores

The behind the scenes work on Once on this Island helps scenes like this come to life. Notice the rain coming from a custom built irrigation system.

Amina Dalal, co-editor-in-chief

“Something the average person may not know is everything that goes on being the actors,” senior Skylar Johnson said. 

When we think about theater, the first things that come to mind are usually actors, actresses, and of course, a stage. Maybe a spotlight. But the set doesn’t just come together on its own. Behind the scenes, a team is working hard to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

“There’s a team of techies behind every production that help with how things go. We have people in the booth and then we have people backstage and upstairs,” Johnson said. 

From sound techs, to spotlight operators, to special effects people backstage, it takes a lot of work to bring a production to life.

For the most recent musical production at Ben Davis, Once on This Island,  there were many challenges for the techies to work around.

“We had to figure out how to expand that stage to create a bigger area. The set is very vertical so creating ways for the actors to move around was a challenge at first,” Johnson said.

In addition to the space for the actors, the team also had to design some unique special effects. One of which needed an entire water drainage system.

“Several things we all tried didn’t work very well or at all,” Johnson said.

Thankfully they were able to solve the issues and come up with creative solutions to all of the problems that arose. 

Since she has been in the club for three years, Johnson has had quite a bit of experience seeing the team work around various challenges. She got involved because of some friends, and because she took the class. From there, she found that the club was something that she really loved.

 “I enjoy building things and I enjoy creating a piece of a larger story,” Johnson said.

Getting a behind the scenes look at a musical can completely change a person’s perspective of a show. If you didn’t catch the show opening night, you can still watch it tonight and Saturday at 7:30 or on Saturday at 2:30. Next time you see a performance, consider how much is happening behind the spotlight.