Who are they?

This is a group of WHS students who love to work with their hands in the area of theater technology – lights, sound, set building, special effects, costumes, etc. Along with helping with the WHS Drama productions, they also prepare for and help run Performing Arts concerts, WHS Assemblies and other special events that need lights, sound and staging. Many times members of the PARTS are also members of another performing arts group here at WHS – while that will sometimes conflict with working certain events, it does not prevent students from being a part of this group.


What do they do?

PARTs help prepare and execute Performing Arts events at WHS. From building props, costumes and scenery for WHS Drama productions to hanging lights and setting up stages for the several special assemblies during the school year, PARTS have a hand in many of the “behind the scenes” preparations for WHS events. Training is hands-on and in many instances “on-the-job.” Experience isn't necessary but as in most extracurricular groups, the more experienced students tend to get to do more varied tasks – and therefore, assume more responsibilities.


What is expected of them?

First and foremost, PARTs need to keep their academic eligibility in tact. You are at WHS to get a diploma, not just to be a techie. We would like to see the PARTs keep at least a 2.0 GPA. If you are going to class and completing the assignments, it should well within your grasp to achieve this goal. Attendance to classes must be impeccable as well. There will be times when you have the opportunity to get out of class to assist with assemblies and the set-up of the bigger events. This is easier to do if your grades and attendance are good.


Additionally, PARTs are expected to attend regular meetings, tech sessions such as set building, costume shop, light rigging, etc. While everyone will have their favorite activity, we expect PARTs to have experience in as many areas as possible, which means you'll be experience new opportunities.


Finally, PARTS are expected to conduct themselves as calm, cool, and mature members of the WHS Performing Arts Community. Your training and attitude will show parents, administrator, other teachers, visitors and other students who may be interested in becoming a PART that this is much more than just showing up and doing something – it shows that you are knowledgeable, responsible, and providing a valuable service to the WHS community.


What can they expect from the group?

PART members will receive training in all of the areas of technical theater, such as how to safely rig a light, how to correctly connect a microphone and turn on the sound system, basic scenery construction techniques, training on the basic equipment in the theater areas, and much more. In addition, they will receive mandatory safety training regarding the scene shop, power tools, proper lifting and equipment moving, ladders, electricity, and fire prevention and suppression. These training sessions are valuable for many reasons, but mostly so that we all are on the same page as to how to do things correctly and avoid equipment repairs, accidents, and most importantly injuries. In addition to all of that critical training, we may from time to time have some guest presenters to run clinics in very specialized areas of technical theater.


What else?

Well, there's the shirt. The students who attend all mandatory training sessions and complete a certain number of hours of service to the WHS Performing Arts Community will receive the official WHS Performing Arts Technicians shirt, complete with logo. This is the official “uniform” of the PARTs, and is to be worn at all events that PARTs are working. This shirt signifies that the person who is wearing it is tending to one of the duties for that event. In short, it's the official identity of a student technician who has worked hard to earn it.


What is the time commitment?

That depends on the level of commitment of the student. The minimum amount of time outside of clinics and training sessions to become a member in good standing is 20 hours – and this can be accrued in many different ways such as helping set up for a concert, working on sets for a drama production, attending the clean-up sessions, and so forth. The training will be held during different times during the year, early each term. For those students who wish to really get involved, there will be recognized levels of achievement in each technical area (lights, sound, construction, costumes.) For those students who have already been active in the technical theater area, their prior experience and time put in to the program will count toward the time minimum. After the minimum time has been met, members will be assigned to crews and events. Members will be expected to come in during work times for sets, lights and venue set-up. Members who do not continue their commitment in a timely manner will lose their membership, and will have to start over accruing hours. Ideally, a member will work three-four events each term, and will be a productive team player in the scene shop.


What about the social side of the group?

Being a member of the PARTs is being a member of the WHS Thespian Troupe. Therefore, any events planned by the Thespian Troupe will include you. This might include trips, troupe events, outreach activities, or just hanging out after a show with your peers. It's important that we strive to create a collaborative environment instead of being two groups of “actors” and “techies.” One group can't exist without the other – we all work toward the same goal.


Do I need to provide anything?

The WHS scene shop is a pretty well-stocked shop in terms of the tools we need to complete our tasks. We are able to provide students with tools to complete most shop tasks However, students who wish to bring their own tools to work sessions are welcome to do so. Anyone bringing in personal equipment is responsible for their own tools – we will not provide storage space or lockers for personal equipment. A typical personal tool bag would include an adjustable wrench, a 25' tape measure, a Phillips and a standard screwdriver (or a driver that has interchangeable tips), a diagonal wire cutter, and a utility knife.


Who is the advisor of the group?

Mr. Lammers will be the group advisor and will tend to the details of the group; however, when working on drama productions, the other directors will be in charge of other aspects of the production. If at any time they ask you to do something, do it. You can assume that all of the directors discuss all aspects of the production and are in agreement as to what needs to be done and how it should be done.


“Techies Rule?”

Yep. That's our motto. Be proud that you're a techie, and make every production the very best it can be.



Levels of Technical Achievement for The Performing Arts Technicians


Lighting Technician: to achieve the “Lighting Technician” patch, you must:

  • Correctly identify the different lighting instruments and their properties
  • Successfully changing a lamp in a lighting instrument
  • Safely hanging and circuiting a light on a batten and focusing it on a preset spot on stage
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the gel system and the ability to gel a light
  • Read and understand a lighting plot to hang lights for a production
  • The ability to control lights using the house control system
  • The ability to control lights using the Auditorium (Ion) light board
  • The ability to control lights using the Little Theater (Horizon) light board
  • The ability to program a lighting cue on each control platform
  • The ability to run a cue list on each control platform
  • Control the lights for one production in each venue for an event (drama or concert)
  • The ability to safely set up and use the Genie lift to change a lighting instrument
  • Participate in at least two theater/loft clean-up sessions

Sound Technician: to achieve the “Sound Technician” patch, you must

  • Correctly identify the components of the various sound systems in our inventory
  • Correctly identify the different microphones in our inventory and their uses
  • Successfully set up a portable sound system with microphones and playback device
  • Successfully be able to set up a microphone in the Auditorium for basic PA
  • Demonstrate the ability to run a sound mixing board
  • Demonstrate the ability to attach wireless lapel mics to performers
  • Demonstrate the ability to troubleshoot the sound system
  • Navigate the WHS sound effects library to find and create a sound effect
  • Participate in at least two booth clean-up sessions

Shop Technician: to achieve the “Shop Technician” patch, you must:

  • Demonstrate the safe operation of all stationary power tools
  • Demonstrate the safe operation of all hand-held power tools
  • Demonstrate the safe use of all non-powered hand tools
  • Identify tools in the tool inventory and their use
  • Correctly identify the different types of lumber and building materials in the shop and their appropriate use
  • Correctly identify the basic fastening hardware in the shop and their appropriate use
  • Correctly identify the different items of stock scenery in the shop
  • Build and leg a platform to specs
  • Build and stand a flat to specs
  • Demonstrate consistent safe practices in the scene shop during production and preproduction
  • Participate in at least two shop clean-up sessions

Costume and Make-Up Technician: to achieve the “Costume and Make-Up Technician” patch, you must:

  • Serve on at least 2 costume and 2 makeup teams on at least 2 separate shows (or speech event, or whatever)
  • Demonstrate ability to construct and repair simple costumes
  • Correctly operate a sewing machine (thread, operate, and troubleshoot)
  • Design at least 3 costumes (this can be put together from the costume collection)
  • Demonstrate ability to apply natural AND old age makeup for a variety of skin tones (so as to teach others) as well as at least one special effect (animal face, scars, wounds, etc)
  • Organize and clean the costume shop after at least one  show

Academic Technician: to achieve the “Academic Technician” patch, you must:

  • Maintain a GPA of 3.0 for two consecutive terms
  • Not violate any tenant of the WHS Good Conduct Code
  • Not have any attendance reinstatements because of unexcused absences or tardies
  • Exercise good judgment in requesting excusal during the school day for set-up events

Students who achieve all five levels of Technical Achievement will be awarded the title of “WHS Master Technician.”