Please Thank the Technicians

Stefanie Townsend

I have been involved in the theatre realm in a variety of ways over the past several years: as an actor, stage manager, dramaturg and running crew member. In all of those positions, I have seen a common trend: very little to no thanks given to the technicians.

It should go without saying that technicians do work very hard. The amount of work they put in is incredible as well as admirable. These people have put in hours and hours of work, even outside of rehearsal and show times. They have meetings, discussions, and problems that they solve outside of rehearsal and show times. Some of them even start on the process before rehearsals begin and/or before auditions are even held.

Without these people, the production would not exist. There would be no set, no props, no costumes, sound, or light to help create the environment and add to the theatrical experience. No run crew would help make sure the actors get through the changes smoothly. No assistant stage managers would be there to make sure that the backstage process was flowing. No stage manager would be calling cues or ensuring the whole experience and production was successful.

Without these people and their work, the production would fail.

It’s true that what they do helps the actors look good. But it is important to know that it is not their sole responsibility. They help the actors look good. But they also contribute to the production to make sure everyone else looks good, too.

I would like to encourage my fellow actors to thank the technicians. Thank them for their efforts. Thank them for all they do for you. They clean the stage for you, design the set for you, pull or make or change the costumes for you, clean them for you, design the lights so you look good, test the mics and watch their levels so you sound good. They pull and set the props for you, make the food and prepare the liquids for you, and clean everything and charge everything for the next performance. They make sure your scene changes run smoothly and that you are safe.

They work to make your life easier. So please, make sure that you help them and make their life easier, too. The respect must go both ways. The group must work as a team.

They say the stage manager’s role is a thankless one. It doesn’t have to be.