What is tech week, and what does it do? According to Cleveland Play House, “The main purpose of tech week is to incorporate all of the technical elements of the show (set, props, costumes, lights, and sound) into the actor’s performance.” Tech week occurs the week before the opening night of a play. Matt Sincell, the theater and tech teacher at Rowland Hall, explains, “We really have one week where we can be in rehearsal [and] try to figure out how the puzzle all fits together.” Tech week is done on the stage where the actors perform. A pre-show to the show. The actors rehearse for 6-8 hours a day, which takes dedication and patience.
Everyone within the play has an important role, even if they are behind the scenes. Noah Schiffman, a senior at Rowland Hall, says, “tech week yields the opportunity to solidify the technical aspects of the show, which can often be a very slow-going process, and it also gives the cast a chance to be as rehearsed as possible before the opening night.” Tech week, although coming after months of practice, is important because it brings the whole show together and solidifies every part.
People do tech week because it helps prepare them for potential things that might happen if aspects of the show go unrehearsed, and people love theater regardless of the work because, like Rachel Brague, a freshman at Rowland Hall, put it, “it adds spice to my life.”
Yet it takes more than just being in the theater to be a good actor. As I said before, actors during tech week are on stage for 6 to 8 hours daily, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t practicing outside of the theater.
Actors have to memorize sometimes hundreds of lines. Outside the theater, the actors have different lives, just like everyone, except actors also have to add time in their schedules to work on things such as their lines, even foot movements, and dances. Even though it may feel like homework, when the actors get back to the theater, they see the results right away, which not only benefits them and their peers but also those who end up watching the performances.
You may read this and never want to do tech week. But whether you would admit it or not, tech week brings you and your fellow actors together and creates a bigger state of community. After rehearsing for months, these actors know each other; they see, feel, sense the movements of each other and know what to do and when. In fact, they could probably do it with their eyes closed. Tech week’s job is to stitch it all together and prove to the actors that all their hard work becomes something.