Arts & Entertainment, Features

Stage Troupe techies, actors swap roles in ‘Tech Show’

A single spotlight illuminated Director Hel Taylor as they addressed their audience before Stage Troupe’s Tech Show Friday evening.

The Tech Show is an annual production where the actors and tech crew swap roles for one night, said Taylor, a sophomore in the College of Communication.

“This show is a chance for you to see the people who build the sets, make the costumes and make the show happen. So give them some love,” they said.

From left: Members of Boston University’s Stage Troupe Annalise Ilg, Hel Taylor, Rayna Cheong, Tara Boudreau and Kaito Aoki-Goldsmith (middle). The Tech Show is a production where the actors and tech crew swap roles for a show, and this year’s production was a parody of the cartoon show “Adventure Time.” COURTESY OF BU STAGE TROUPE

And without further ado, the stage of BU’s Student Theater filled with giggling “techies”-turned-actors, and the Tech Show began.

Ava Marquardt, a senior studying biology in the College of Arts and Sciences, is one of Stage Troupe’s technical directors this semester. She said the Tech Show has been a Stage Troupe tradition for years and is typically an adaptation of pop culture media.

Stage Troupe, BU’s oldest extracurricular performing arts group for non-theater majors, presents three mainstage shows each semester, along with additional projects like the Tech Show.

Traditionally, the show is kept a secret from the audience until the performance, said Marquardt, so when audience members arrive at the show, they don’t know what it will be about.

Melina Nguyen, a senior in the COM and another technical director for Stage Troupe, said the Tech Show script is usually a combination of source material and original writing by the Stage Troupe’s Technical Advisor. Last year’s Tech Show featured an original script based on the “Super Mario Bros.” video game franchise, Nguyen said.

At the Tech Show, each act ended with the audience bursting into laughter. The 40-minute production took the audience through a comical reimagining of the cartoon “Adventure Time,” with the characters taking part in different mini quests leading up to a final “rap battle” between two characters.

“It really is just a bonding activity for the techies to do something different and the actors to help with the tech,” Nguyen said.

Stage Troupe’s tech department has a variety of focuses, including build, props, paint, costumes, lights and sound crew. Marquart, who has worked across nearly every department within stage crew, took a role and was onstage this year for the show.

“I never realized how bright it is when you’re on stage,” Marquardt said. “You can’t see anything, and it’s a little intimidating.”

Taylor said swapping to acting is “jarring” because there is more room for creativity, which they are not used to in their role as a technical director.

Marquardt said the show is a fun way for Stage Troupe members to get more involved and try new things without devoting themselves to the commitment of a mainstage show.

“You can actually see these people in action,” Taylor said. “Maybe not doing what they’re best at, but at least on the stage for once.”

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