Stage Write: It’s Tech Week!


(Pictured above: the image on a t-shirt one of my fellow ASMs was wearing at paper tech. It pretty much sums up my life right now!)

Are you interested in theatre at Brown?  Whether you’re a veteran actor or a fresh newbie, you’ve come to the right place – Stage Write! I’m Olivia Cummings, first-year Shakespeare enthusiast (try to find the Shakespeare reference(s) in each blog post!), techie, and budding thespian. I’ll be writing about my experiences in the various facets of theatre life at Brown this year.  

For those of you involved in theatre, you know, tech week is exhausting, stressful, and a major time-sap.  For those of you who don’t know, think of tech week as the most intense week-long cramming session IN YOUR LIFE.

This upcoming weekend the fall mf (musical forum) production, Urinetown, is opening for a three day slot in the pw downspace.  Urinetown is an early-2000s musical about a town where people have to “pay to pee”‘ and the rebellion that follows.  While Urinetown is hilarious and ridiculous, tech week, is most certainly not.

As one of the three assistant stage managers (ASMs) for the show, I’ve had to be at nearly every rehearsal in its entirety for the past two weeks.  Usually rehearsals run from 7-11.  During tech week, rehearsals run from 6-11, although as a member of the production team I have to stay after for a production meeting, so my hours are more like 6-12.

This may seem like a long time, and it most certainly is, but paper tech and wet tech, which take place the weekend before a show opens, both usually last 12 hours each.  So this past Saturday, which was paper tech (the day when the director, stage manager (SM), ASMs, lighting team, and usually the sound designer all help input cues for the show) and Sunday, which was wet tech (the day when we go Q2Q (cue-to-cue) with actors to adjust the lighting cues, essentially paper tech with actors), were both extremely long days for me.

So if you want to participate in theatre at Brown be prepared for long hours that could potentially take your time away from school work, social life, and sleep, especially if you plan on joining the production team (also be prepared to get yelled at by stressed out actors, FYI).  If you plan on working or participating in any other time-consuming activities, like sports, your schedule will be very tight and you will probably have to ignore some of your responsibilities for the week.  Fortunately, after tech week the show opens and everything is right in the world once more.

(Sorry, no Shakespeare quote this time, #icantihaverehearsal)


(^Pretty much everyone during tech week – but we get through it!)

As a potential Immunobiology and/or Public Health concentrator who is pre-med (PLME), I’ll approach theatre as someone who is doing it as a (very time-intensive) hobby. If you have any questions for me or would like to be connected with someone who is looking to pursue theatre after college, email me at  Looking forward to seeing you all at Brown soon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s