How many Vikings does it take to change hundreds of light bulbs? The answer to that question is the entire Tech Crew. The Mt. Hebron auditorium has recently been updated with a new lighting system that costs approximately $66,000. It was just installed in time for the opening of the school’s fall production, Godspell.
Mt. Hebron just celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Over the years, the school has become well known for various extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs and the theater program led by Mr. Tom Sankey.
Tech Crew is a vital component in a theater production; they are the minds behind the lighting cues and the sound in a show. Music teacher Mr. Chris Hettenbach is the sponsor for the Tech Crew at Mt. Hebron. He believes that it was time that the school had a change to their lighting system onstage.
“For a long, long time, the same lighting system has been here,” Mr. Hettenbach stated. “I’ve taught here for 16 years, and it’s been the same lights.”
Gino Molfino, the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Howard County Public School System, prompted the new addition of the lighting system.
Because the systems are more advanced and have new features, the Tech Crew has to adjust to use the system. “I’m most excited about our new moving lights, which can project different images and colors. They give us a lot of opportunities for really cool lighting designs,” said Caralyn Anderson, the senior head tech and lighting designer.
Many Tech Crew members, including junior Charlotte Faust and senior Eleanor Zhang, have previously been a part of multiple Mt. Hebron productions.
“I’m looking forward to being able to save time in programming, and light the stage with more colors from more angles,” responded Faust.
“It was a little frustrating because we had to take so many lights down just to put even more lights back in,” added Zhang, a two-year tech member.
Mr. Hettenbach also explained that the new lighting system is a big cost savings. “They’re mostly LED, so it was a real cost-efficient measure to replace them because one of these lights would replace — energy-wise– five of the other ones,” he said.
The lights are controlled by touch-screen computer systems along with a lighting board. The lights can be dimmed, brightened and focused, and the colors can be changed. Various others features are added with the installation including digital lights that can talk wirelessly to the board in the booth. There are two special lights that swivel, turn and project various colors to brightly light the stage.
Attend the fall show “Godspell” to check out the new lights. The production runs from Wednesday, Nov. 11 to Saturday, Nov. 14 starting at 7 pm. Tickets cost $10 per person.