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Students learn technical theater in the CCISD club

For the show to go on, the curtains must open and close on time, the lighting must be hung and focused, the stage must be properly managed, and the audio equipment must be equipped to catch every word.

This year behind the scenes at performances such as Corpus Christi ISD’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘Moana Jr.’ from Moody High School. and “Shrek Jr.” from Metro Elementary School, as well as events such as the district’s State of the District fundraiser and UIL One Act Play competitions, the high school’s district-wide drama club worked backstage.

Carroll High School senior Ludbin Rocha pulls a rope in line behind Kaffie Middle School student Jacob Garcia backstage on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.Carroll High School senior Ludbin Rocha pulls a rope in line behind Kaffie Middle School student Jacob Garcia backstage on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Carroll High School senior Ludbin Rocha pulls a rope in the line behind Kaffie Middle School student Jacob Garcia backstage in Corpus Christi on Tuesday.

CCISD visual arts specialist Tasha Jones recently shared information about the stagecraft club, as well as other growing programs including speech and debate and musical theater, with the CCISD Board of Trustees. During a Monday work session, the board also heard about music and arts programs.

“This year marks the culmination of an idea that has been gradually developing over the past two years: the creation of a club dedicated to technical theater,” said Jones.

The club offers students training and practical experiences.

Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with King sophomore Malarie Leal, left, and Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with King sophomore Malarie Leal, left, and Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with King sophomore Malarie Leal, left, and Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch on Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

“There are a tremendous amount of jobs and opportunities that have a great overlap with the skills we use in technical theater and performing arts,” said Burton Baxter, auditorium manager at Veterans Memorial High School.

Baxter runs the club.

“People don’t realize these things happen behind the scenes,” Baxter said. “We’re trying to shine a light on what it means to have a career in stage arts.”

Veterans Memorial sophomore Matthew Reese leans against the backstage line at the high school in Corpus Christi on Tuesday.  The line set is used for hoisting curtains and backgrounds.Veterans Memorial sophomore Matthew Reese leans against the backstage line at the high school in Corpus Christi on Tuesday.  The line set is used for hoisting curtains and backgrounds.

Veterans Memorial sophomore Matthew Reese leans against the backstage line at the high school in Corpus Christi on Tuesday. The line set is used for hoisting curtains and backgrounds.

Veterans Memorial High School senior Catie Hamisch and Carroll High School senior Ludbin Rocha are co-presidents of the club.

“One of the things I love about Stagecraft (club) is that I get to work with kids from all kinds of different schools,” Hamsich said.

Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains handprints made by Stagecraft members on a wall backstage at the high school in Corpus Christi on Tuesday.Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains handprints made by Stagecraft members on a wall backstage at the Corpus Christi high school on Tuesday.

Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains handprints made by Stagecraft members on a wall backstage at the high school in Corpus Christi on Tuesday.

The two have been heavily involved in theater at their schools since before the club came together. Hamisch hopes to become involved in community theater during her studies. Rocha has already found work in the community outside of school with his sound engineering skills.

“He already works in the industry and is already making money working professionally in this area in the community,” Baxter said. “You’ll see him working at festivals around the city and doing installations at venues.”

Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains a light board that controls the stage lighting in the high school's black box room Tuesday in Corpus Christi.Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains a light board that controls the stage lighting in the high school's black box room Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Veterans Memorial senior Catie Hamisch explains a light board that controls the stage lighting in the high school’s black box room Tuesday in Corpus Christi.

Stagecraft club students assisted Tuesday at the regional UIL One Act Play competition for 2A schools hosted at Veterans Memorial High School.

“They are literally the people in control of running the facility,” Baxter said Tuesday. “They are actively running and managing and executing everything that needs to be done within the guidelines of the competition.”

The club has participants from all over the region who meet approximately once a month.

Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with senior Ludbin Rocha in the black box room at the Corpus Christi high school on Tuesday.Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with senior Ludbin Rocha in the black box room at the Corpus Christi high school on Tuesday.

Veterans Memorial auditorium manager Burton Baxter speaks with senior Ludbin Rocha in the black box room at the Corpus Christi high school on Tuesday.

“We want to empower them to grow their own campuses,” Baxter said. “The idea is to give them experiences and take them back to their home campuses and grow.”

Students can assist as a stage manager, lighting and sound technician and fly operator who operates the curtains. These roles can teach skills relevant to careers in theater, film, live entertainment, radio and communications, Baxter said.

“Every visual arts program has a great need on the technical side,” Baxter said. ‘They don’t realize that they are all interested in the same things. Whether you participate in dance, band, theater, choir, orchestra, there are students in each of those programs in the district who don’t realize they are doing the same thing and working to produce live events.”

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This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: High school students run the show at Corpus Christi ISD productions