Summertime is a wonderful opportunity at Tecumseh Center for the Arts (TCA) to regroup and prepare for the upcoming season of shows. From the local and regional performances and events we host, to the national touring shows, audiences far and wide have only to purchase a ticket to participate. But have you ever wondered what was involved behind the scenes?
For over 40 years, the TCA has been a place of education, both onstage and behind the scenes. Our staff has taught students (and adults too) the craft of live performance and the various aspects of bringing a show to life. To that end, we created the Student Technical Corps.
Though informal at first, TCA’s Student Tech Corps program has always been a part of who we are. The Corps, which is in its fourth decade, has seen more than 140 students participate.
Each season, we employ 4-6 high school-college aged students to provide tech services for every show that is put onstage. They receive hands-on training with the lighting control board and lighting instruments, the sound control board and audio equipment, as well as the backstage crew positions. New “techies” also job-shadow older tech students and adult staff to gain more experience, and most are assigned to run the lighting or sound board for a basic show within a short period of time. From something as “simple” as a movie or business meeting requiring one or two people, to the more complicated shows when we need 8-10 theater technicians to bring our shows to life.
Through the TCA’s tech program, students have worked with community members on local and regional productions, such as Tecumseh Youth Theatre, Tecumseh Pops Orchestra and Community Chorus, TCA Big Band & VocalAires, Tecumseh Players, and Tecumseh Public Schools’ events; but also the opportunity to learn about the world of live professional productions, working with a wonderfully diverse group of artists including Davy Jones, The Irish Rovers, Feld Ballet NY, The Acting Company, The National Theatre of the Deaf, Lightwire Theater, Second City, Capitol Steps, Broadway and film star Franc D’Ambrosio, The Toledo Symphony, Rhythm of the Dance, and Le Cirque Espirit!
For most of our student techs, this introduction and training into the world of live performance is the first “real” job. We are honored to have been the starting point for many students who continued using their skills beyond high school, and for several that have entered careers in the industry. Former students have worked across the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, and East Asia, with such companies as Disney on Ice, ETC Lighting Controls (who provided lighting expertise for events like the Olympics in Vancouver and London), Washington, DC’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, Michigan State University, The University of Michigan, Bowling Green University, Cobo Hall, Comerica Park, and many, many more. All had their start at Tecumseh Center for the Arts and are making a living in the entertainment industry today.
Regardless of their future careers, Student Tech Corps members learn teamwork, discipline, cooperation, and focus - all important qualities that will last a lifetime.
Currently, Tecumseh Center for the Arts is looking to grow our Student Tech Corps program for the 2022-2023 season. We are looking for high school and college age students (ages 14-22 years) who are interested in learning about the technical side of theater.
If you know a student who is interested, or you are an interested student, apply online! All applications must be submitted by August 1 to be considered for this upcoming season.
Behind the scenes of Tecumseh Center for the Arts.