Students from Edison High School teamed up with officials from West Liberty University to set the stage for future productions.
David Schultz, advisor for the EHS Drama Club, and school Vocal Music Director Greg Hofmeister joined more than two-dozen students and theater officials from WLU for a daylong Saturday workshop in stagecraft. WLU Assistant Theater Professor and Technical Director Meta Lasch, along with husband and adjunct instructor Richard Deenis, met with the high school group to teach the finer points of preparing stage flats for theatrical scenery. Crews worked together to gather and organize wooden boards and other materials, something they had not done in the past.
“I met Meta through the theatre director at West Liberty, Michael Aulick,” said Schultz. “My students participated in last year’s Monologue Slam/Competition hosted by West Liberty, which is how we met him and then, through him, Meta and Rich. [We did this] for professional help with the construction of our flats.”
He said the workshop was very educational and enlightening, and now his students have a better grasp of what it takes to bring a production together. That knowledge would come in handy as the school held it’s first performance of the year, “The Sound of Music,” in November.
“Meta and Rich have been helpful, helping both myself and my students with this project. They have given so much of their free time to make this a successful event,” Schultz added. “I really liked that the students got a chance to work with materials that they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. They got a fantastic chance to see and do the technical side of set building and see if they had any interest in pursuing a career in stage construction.”
He noted that the flats will benefit both the drama and music programs and he looked forward to working with the university again in the future.
“This experience gave my students great exposure to the technical side of professional theatre.”
Hofmeister agreed, saying the lessons they learned will be very beneficial.
“With their supervision and us monitoring, the students were able to build flats, learn and organize our loft. The flats will be used for background,” Hofmeister continued. “From ‘The Sound of Music’ to Mr. Schultz’s productions, we’ll have more time after school to make [the scenery].”
Lasch was impressed with the students’ work ethic and said she would happily work with them again in the future.
“The students really wanted to be involved with the program and be able to do this on their own,” said Lasch, “I think Edison’s stage is forming and will be utilized to its fullest extent now.”
A few of the students said they enjoyed the workshop and learned something new.
“I liked doing the project,” said sophomore Chloe Brooks. “I learned a lot about cutting wood and measuring.”
“I liked it. This was fun,” added junior Aiden Ferguson. “It’s really hands-on and gets us involved.”
Meanwhile, Schultz added that all of the wood materials had been generously donated by Denoon Lumber and cited them as amazing supporters of Edison Local and the arts. Other items were acquired jointly by the drama club and music department using revenue from previous fundraisers.
“We are incredibly humbled and grateful for such a donation. The flats built with this lumber will last decades and will positively impact dozens of classes of students thanks to the generosity of Denoon Lumber.”