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The Students Behind the Scenes: Orchesis Stage Crew Spotlight

Every great show requires the dedication of those behind the scenes, and this is certainly true regarding Ohio Wesleyan’s Orchesis this fall.

OWU Theater and Dance presented Orchesis, an annual dance show that showcases the hardwork and artistry of a number of OWU students through dance, choreography, and stage crew, this past November. The show featured 12 dancers in a number of dance pieces and took place on November 12th-13th in the Chappelear Drama Center.

Beyond the stage, however, the production required the hard work of students who handled a wide range of responsibilities including costume, makeup, lighting, and sound.

Sophomore Johnathan Ellis was this year's stage manager and the right hand man to the director. He expressed, “My job as a stage manager was to make sure everything on stage happened smoothly, such as curtains, props, and other physical things seen on the stage. My overall job was to ensure the safety of everyone on the team.”

This fall, Ellis dedicated between 7 to 9 hours a week in the studio, in addition to work outside of the studio. He maintained this routine every day since classes began in August.

Like many students, Ellis’ work on the stage crew allowed him to pursue multiple passions: his love for theater, as well as elements of his communication major.

Similarly, senior theater minor Olivia Anderson was able to fuel her passion for theater while earning practicum credits, which she described as “the best part for us seniors.”

This fall, Anderson served as both costume and run crew, facilitating quick changes and adjusting the fly system between pieces. She expressed, “The sense of purpose I get from technical theatre is truly rewarding.”

Unlike Ellis and Anderson, freshman Jazzy Valenzuela was new to the stage crew this year. She explained, “I received an email from the stage manager asking if I would be interested in assisting and I decided it would be a good way to involve myself in the school's community.”

As an assistant manager, Valenzuela, filled out rehearsal reports and assisted the stage manager backstage during the show, contributing 4-6 hours in the studio a week.

After her time on Orchesis, Valenzuela expressed, “I am excited to hopefully be a part of future productions, whether it's behind the scenes or on stage!”

Nearly twenty students dedicated their time to the stage crew and had a hand in bringing Orchesis 2021 to life. It was their hard work, in collaboration with the efforts of

all the talented dancers and choreographers, that produced a phenomenal performance that will be remembered on campus for years to come.

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