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The Current

Theater offers new opportunities for outside engagement

Theater Manager Erin Beatie solders a mic behind the scenes for a production. Photo by Bella Ferrari

Bear River’s Theater opportunities are cued up and ready to go.

Due to the fact that many outside opportunities are so new to the Bear River Theater, students don’t know connections and are afraid of jumping into the wild theater life outside of school.

Erin Beatie, Bear River’s theater manager, created the Bear River Community Theater website in September of 2017 and all students have access to this feature.

“The theater website was created by me and launched in September,” said Mrs. Beatie. “So really the whole website is a change in itself. We have our shows listed, an up-to-date calendar, and an online box office. In addition to this we have a ‘Student Opportunities’ page.  This page shows what we call ‘in-house’ or Bear River based opportunities and ‘outside’ opportunities for students. This page has a lot of information and is updated frequently. All students, even ones outside of our district, can view our Student Opportunities Page.”

Technical Theater, which is defined as the technical aspect of theatrical, film, and video production, has been at Bear River for a while, but began to become more prominent during the 2017-2018 school year.

“I took the Bruin Time class because I was interested in what it was,” said Noah Mann, a freshman. “Then Erin introduced me to ‘Our Town’ and I became the backstage manager for that, and then it all just kind of snowballed. I really like the satisfaction of watching the play come together, it’s fun.”

Catherine Desplancke, a sophomore, also said that she enjoys the thrill of bringing a show together.

“My favorite part of Technical Theater is right when a show starts because it gives me a sense that the tech is basically in control of a show and it’s awesome,” she said. “I don’t know if I want to pursue a career in Technical Theater, but I hope to do more in the future with Technical Theater.”

Mrs. Beatie worked at Colfax High School for 13 years before coming to Bear River, and one of her previous students who still works tech, Hunter Schott, is hoping to do tech for a living.

“Tech Theater was a class that I took freshman year,” said Hunter Schott, a junior at Colfax. “My favorite part about the class is that I get to help teach kids the importance of the technical side of theater and help show them what I want to do for a living. I have been in tech for 6 terms (3 years), everyone should try tech to see what it’s like.”

Mrs. Beatie wants students in Technical Theater to broaden their horizons and work with outside productions as well as school productions.

“Technical opportunities are always popping up, some are paid and some are not depending on the company,” she said. “Job opportunities for entry-level students include running crew (backstage crew), spotlight operator, light board operator, sound board operator, (etc.) More advanced students have opportunities with more responsibility attached to it such as stage manager, backstage manager, master electrician, (etc).”

Desplancke said that she likes the sense of reward that working the theater gives.

“It’s really fun working with everyone, like Erin, and it gives me a sense that I’m doing something to help my school,” she said.

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Theater offers new opportunities for outside engagement