The Man Behind the Curtain

Sophomore English teacher Bruce Adams is the New Man Behind the Curtain

Megan Bartlett, Writer

To make a show great, you can’t just have a couple of actors standing around on an empty stage. There has to be something to look at and for the actors to interact with. That is the technical aspect of theater, and this year someone you might know is going to be in charge.

Bruce Adams, sophomore English teacher, is the new technical director at school. As tech director, he is responsible for designing the sets, organizing the student work calls to build those sets, and the successful execution of all technical aspects of each show during rehearsals and performances.

Adams will also help with the light and sound alongside Bill Thomas, the light and sound director. Art Winter, the school’s tech director two years ago, is coming back to work with Adams on design ideas.

“I’ve been to shows in the past that Art [Winter] has worked on, and his work is great,” Adams said. “We’re gonna bounce ideas off of each other and hopefully take the best parts of them to make a great show.”

“The possibility of coming back and working with the students, faculty and staff at West was one of the things that kept me going during my absence,”  Winter said. “Actually getting that chance and once again being able to work with so many talented and creative people is very energizing.”

Adams’ theater career started in high school. He acted in a few shows and then designed sets his senior year. He’s taught at two other schools and was involved in theater at both. While his involvement was limited to one play at the first school, he was assistant technical director and worked on lights, set and sound at the second school.

“It’s nice to get back to it. I’ve been away from [theater] for a while, so I think it’s gonna be fun, especially in an auditorium as nice as the one we have at school,” Adams said.

“It’s fun when sets not only look good, but also when they give directors and actors a chance to really have some fun, use the space, give the audience something interesting to look at,” Adams said. “And of course, the set is also used to tell the story, so do the lights, so does the sound.”

“I think it’s going to build throughout the year. The first show has a simpler set and they get more complicated with the musical and with the spring comedy,” Adams said.

Both Adams and Winter are excited to see what kind of challenges this year will bring.

“The fall play has Shakespeare married up with Jersey Shore,” Winter said. “That has to be funny and fun to do.  Should the set be built with massive 16th century looking arches, or look more like a street somewhere in New Jersey? This year’s musical, Frog and Toad, has great music and lots of energy.  It also has many technical effects to challenge our students.  The spring play, Get Smart, continues the comedy theme.  It too has many technical challenges, not the least of which is figuring out how to build the ‘cone of silence.’ All in all, it promises to be a great year.”