Macbeth: Behind the Scenes

What Goes into Production of the Scottish Play?

More stories from Bryan Dumpert

Prom Assembly
May 9, 2017

Senior Zion Mills inspects a sword that has been filed down and is ready to be painted. The sword is one of many props that was used for the cast of Macbeth.

Even though the actors get the spotlight, there is more that goes into a production of a play than meets the eye. Before a play is even ready for an audience, students work tirelessly for hours on end to build the sets, design the costumes, and make sure lighting and sound are ready for the final performance. Without the efforts of the tech students, the show could not go on.  

One of the most important parts of a show is the set. It sets the scene for the play and draws the audience into a more immersive experience. A great deal goes into building a set from start to finish. First, the entire set needs to be conceptualized. Afterwards, everything needs to be bu

ilt and be ready to be placed on stage. Stairs, tables, platforms, and even swords for the actors have already been built, and the set will be nearing completion as the date of the first performance approaches. Some of the members of set tech work on the set in addition to acting on stage.

Senior Zion Mills  is the co-head of set tech in addition to playing the Thane of Ross on stage. Mills obtained this position of set tech this year, after it was decided that it was simply too much work and responsibility for one person to be in charge of the entire set. Although Mills has explored almost every area of tech throughout the last three years, he has decided that set tech is where he is the most useful.

“I definitely knew enough about power tools and everything about building stuff, so it was a lot easier to get into,” Mills said. “I stuck with it, and now I’m the head.”

Mills builds the set with co-head Claylish Coldiron, senior, and the other members of set tech during his off periods and after school. There are a handful of new

Materials from past show sets adorn the walls of the Tech Room. Among the chaos are quotes left behind by seniors for new members to see every time they work on a show.
Materials from past show sets adorn the walls of the Tech Room. Among the chaos are quotes left behind by seniors for new members to see every time they work on a show.

members this year in set tech, so a lot of time is spent teaching the newbies how to use power tools so that, as the show progresses, they can be capable of building and working on the set themselves.

All of the work for the set happens in the tech room, a chaotic area near theatre hallway that is a sight to see with walls covered in hundreds of quotes and props from past shows.

“Every year seniors leave behind quotes or keepsakes or things that they want future generations to know,” Mills said.

Building a set is definitely a challenge. Students are only able to work with wood to build the sets and have no way to work with metal. “We don’t have any kind of metal fabrication, or welding ability, or metal to do so. So trying to get wood to do all the amazing things that they want it to do is definitely a challenge,” Mills said.

It is the job of set tech kids to invite viewers into the world of the production through the construction of the set. With all the challenges and limitations presented to them, the students still manage to finalize every show with glorious pieces of scenery to wow the audience.