Technician time tables

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Matthew Hughes (11) teaches Sneha Shatish (10) how to do a sheet bend knot. The knot tying event tests technicians ability to tie a clove hitch, half hitch, sheet bend and one-handed bowline.

Candace Jarzombek

Each year before the Indiana State Thespian Conference, a select group of four to eight technicians holds practices to hone their skills in knot tying, lighting geometric figures, replicating a props setup and coiling electrical cords to prepare for the Tech Challenge competition.

“My favorite part of the Tech Challenge is honestly just the preparation for it because you have a lot of fun doing the events. Everybody that does it is just great people and make it so much fun,” Matthew Hughes (11) said.

Aside from socializing and having fun, the purpose of the competition is to test participants’ speed and accuracy in completing common technical theater tasks. Because technicians are usually only behind the scenes of productions, they enjoy branching out and having the spotlight on them, even if only for a couple of hours.

“Usually I just work with costumes and props so being able to tie knots and do lighting is a fun change for me. My favorite event is the knot tying. I like trying to get my time closer and closer [to a winning time],” Erini Collaros (12) said.

The team decided to make personalized themed shirts for the challenge. The task of designing them was given to team member Cora Sakal (11).

“I really like the fact that [the team] gave me the chance to design a shirt. My favorite part of [preparing for the competition] was making the ‘Friends’ designed shirts to match everyone with their characters and their personalities,” Sakal said.