Building character

Tech Crew is preparing for the upcoming musical as well as preparing students for their futures.

Props created by Tech Crew in preparation for the musical Pippin.

Alyssa Owens

Props created by Tech Crew in preparation for the musical Pippin.

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Don’t be seen, don’t be heard… Unless you’re sound crew.

This is Tech Crew’s philosophy as they paint, cut, carve, build, mold and set the scene to this year’s musical Pippin. But it is not only the set that they’re building. Tech Crew is building character through their welcoming, teaching environment, according to members of this group.

“The working environment that surrounds our Tech Crew at Chanhassen High School is a very welcoming environment for all students interested in the technical aspects of theater,” Tech Director and teacher, Mr. Powers, said. Powers added that the “hands-on learning environment” helps students by teaching them about deadlines, problem solving and collaboration.

“I feel that I am better prepared for my future thanks to Tech Crew because I have learned a lot about working as a group,” Paradis Vandeputte (11) said. “Everyone has to work together to make things come together on Tech. I’ve learned how to guide people and deal with people who are not always team players.” Vandeputte added that Tech Crew was a safe place for her and her friends to socialize, this reducing their overall stress levels.

Logan Slinde-Melton (12), the current lead of build and construction, said that Tech Crew helped him become more confident in his abilities which made him less shy around new people. “It’s easier to work with more people, like, I learned to work better with bigger groups and be a leader,” Slinde-Melton said.

When the group is faced with a problem, Powers will ask the students what they should do instead. Then, the students brainstorm ideas in a guided conversation while looking for a possible solution. Some of these solutions are meant to make people laugh and some are meant to completely fix the problem.

“There’s times where it can be serious and you have to be paying attention because it could be dangerous, but there are a lot of times where you can joke around and have fun with it and it’s a good mix of it,” Slinde-Melton said.

This type of environment teaches students about their passions and personalities. For example, Rebecca Wigness (12) is looking to continue with Tech outside of school. “I recently just applied for a tech job at the Chan Dinner Theater,” Wigness said. “So, I’m not sure if I got it yet but fingers crossed. I’m hoping that I got it.”