Theater tech advancements


Photo courtesy of Mackie

A new soundboard was installed in the theater.

The average high school has its own performing arts center, equipped with light and sound systems. The school, well-known for its performing arts, has recently received new upgrades for its performing arts department.

“We got a brand new soundboard last year, and this year we got a new light board, and for the [upcoming] musical we are renting a whole array of other equipment,” senior and theater tech student Shawn Kost said.

Other schools in Irvine Unified have also had money become available to them due to funds the state set aside. Woodbridge is the only school in IUSD to receive new performing arts upgrades, as it is one of our main foci.

“What is already in place in theater is a new lighting system, which makes things very simple and very up-to-date with the industry,” drama and English teacher Cassandra Gaona said. “So when you’re watching American Idol, and you see those moving lights, we have the capacity to do that here at Woodbridge. We’re the only high school here [in Irvine] that as the capacity to do that.”

Along with adding a new soundboard, the school’s technical capabilities exceed most, with more to come.

“We’re all optimistic that we’re changing our rigging, which is what we use to hang our curtains, to be a lot more flexible and a lot more fluid for other productions,” Gaona said. “Because when you bring in dance shows and different varieties of performances we’re doing here, we need flexibility. Right now we don’t have that with our rigging in the curtains; they all just stay there, so we’re making some adjustments.”  

Even without the rigging, students are benefitting greatly from the upgraded technology.

“These new upgrades allow the students to learn more things,” Kost said. “We’re able to create and design new ideas we never had access to before. They’ve also made our jobs a lot easier to learn and perform.”

While upgrades make the jobs of tech students much easier and more efficient, safety on the job will also be improved.

“Were trying to get a new lift for theater. The scaffolding we have now, we’ve had for about 10 years, so it’s not very safe,” junior Marissa Burell said. “I think new upgrades will make things a lot easier and safer.”