It takes a lot more than great performers to make a great performance. Before the first line is spoken or the first note is played on stage, the Poway Center for Performing Art’s (PCPA) masterful technical crew plays a crucial role to ensure the show will go on as envisioned.
This includes lighting, sound and staging and the needs vary greatly depending on the performance. Technical Coordinator James Ingersoll said that either he or the center’s other coordinator, Garrett Moreau, meet with the client one month out to assess their needs.
The range of roles staff play is tailored to each performance.
“Most of the work for a dance performance is behind the scenes with lighting and sound boards, and flying the curtain in and out,” he explains. “But a play or musical can have all sorts of drops (backgrounds), platforms, props and other scenery on stage that can take days to set up.”
At the very least it takes three crew members to run a production: one each on lighting, sound and an “on deck” staff member who is stationed on stage. On more complex shows, that number can easily triple.
Technical competence is an important qualification for everyone who works behind the scenes at the PCPA, but with so many variables as to what goes into each show, being a team player is a must.
And although their work is behind the scenes, they play an instrumental role in the success of a show. It is a role that is especially rewarding when working with community groups, said James.
“My favorite part is seeing the joy on their faces,” he said. “They worked hard for their time to shine on stage and now they are able to share their joy and express it to the public.”
PCPA is owned by the City of Poway and operated as a division of the Community Services Department.