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New club Behind the Scenes welcomes techies

By Santiago Montoya

Section: Arts

September 11, 2015

Every year, a few new clubs are created, adding on to the already extensive list of approximately 250 official clubs on campus. It is always interesting to see what isn’t offered at Brandeis, and this year Behind the Scenes brings something new to the table.

Behind the Scenes (BTS) represents the opportunity for students to train in a variety of technical theater areas in which the members will be given the freedom to explore as they choose, from carpentry, to costume design, lighting design, production, sound design and stage management. Professional teacher assistants will lead the trainings, and there will also be a coordinator for each different area. The co-founders have reached out to everyone they can think of—they even contacted Spingold Theater’s staff, who agreed and joined forces with BTS to provide training and connections. The club has other projects as well, like plans for more extensive seminars about specific lighting equipment, which will be called “Help, Everything’s Broken!”

In addition, the club will offer events on and off campus, including workshops, backstage tours and more. They will serve as support to other theater clubs when a production staff is needed, attend networking events for those who are interested in pursuing a career in technical theater and build and expand members’ portfolios, among other exciting activities and perks that the clubs has to offer.

“I came up with this particular club here because upon my arrival as a freshman, I was looking for a ‘home’ for techies and people who like to work backstage, and I never quite found one,” Sivan Ertel ’18, one of the three BTS co-founders, said. As a matter of fact, there are a few forums for techies here at Brandeis. Nevertheless, Ertel responded that she “felt that having one place for all of us would be productive for the UTC [Undergraduate Theatre Collective] and Brandeis in general.” Another point Ertel made was that when the time comes for shows to select a production staff, “instead of always reaching out to the same few people, with Behind the Scenes, there will be a range of options … and it makes it easier for people to get involved who wouldn’t have otherwise.”

“We are in the process of discussing membership within the UTC, and we are meeting with the UTC coordinator shortly,” Ertel said.

The finals details are still currently in the works; however, the club already met for the first time on Wednesday, Sept. 9 in the SCC Green Room. They had the opportunity to establish the framework of the club, fill empty positions for each of the UTC’s production staff and learn what everyone’s interests are, so the club can then decide what trainings and seminars they are going to provide first. They also commented that they are in the process of finalizing the executive board positions.

The construction of this club has been a process, but will provide a useful new outlet for those interested in learning more about the technical side of theater.

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