Techies Union breaks a leg in new annual show

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Techies Union breaks a leg in new annual show

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By Colleen Day

Suffolk University’s Performing Arts Office lit up the stage Friday at its brand new event, “Tech-stravaganza,” hosted by the Techies Union. The three-hour long event featured Suffolk’s Jazz Ensemble, contemporary musical group Rhythm, comedy troupe Sketchual Misconduct, The Ramifications A Cappella group, the Rampage! show choir, The Dance Company and W!CKED, Suffolk’s hip-hop dance company. Located in the C. Walsh Theatre, the Techies Union’s first ever “Tech-stravaganza” annual concert started off the semester with its members hoping to show Suffolk what they’re capable of when put in the limelight.

Hoping to showcase everything they have learned since their inception in 2009, the Techies Union was motivated to take center stage and finally put their own name in lights. Because they are at the whim of all Suffolk productions to make sure the lighting and sound is appropriate for each and every line or song, the Techies Union’s free will to flip a switch and use everything they have in the light and sound booth is understandably compromised.

“Last year we were talking about having our own show because we are really the group that always helps everyone else,” said Christina Twombly, the Techies Union president and a junior majoring in electrical engineering and theater. “We wanted to do the stuff we loved to do and showcase everything. So, we asked the PAO office if we could try and here we are! We just had our first show! It was a lot of work but worth it!”

In the midst of students and faculty members transitioning back into the swing of things on campus after a long winter recess, about 100 students and faculty members attended the show. Twombly deemed the night a success.

“We were happy,” she said. “The house was decently full for that kind of show, especially given it was the first week back from break and people are busy getting things ready for school, seeing friends they didn’t see over break, you know. ”

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Twombly said that the group is composed of mostly underclassmen, since the departure of many seniors last year, with a lot of new members joining this year. Enthusiastic to help people learn the ropes, she said, “We do theater tech stuff- people don’t have to have prior knowledge because we do a lot of on-site teaching. I get a lot of comments from people who have never ‘teched’ before and they always say, ‘I never thought I would be that great at doing that!’”

As an audience member, it was clear that despite the younger, less experienced group members the Techies Union have on staff it by no means held them back. The group’s eagerness and excitement emulated down the halls before the show and transformed into a production. With every high note Rhythm hit, or every move W!CKED busted, the Techies Union matched it with booming sound and beaming lights like never before.

For students new to Suffolk this semester, the PAO hosts annual shows such as Fallfest, Dinner Theatre, PAO Winter Concert, Pioneer Performance Series, PAO Spring Concert, S.T.E.W. and Acting Out.  The PAO offers a creative outlet on-campus for students and has even snagged awards such as the SGA Outstanding Campus Sponsored Program of the Year for 2012-2013, as posted on the Suffolk University PAO page. The Techies Union, the lifeline to all of the light, sound and technical designs needs for all the PAO performances, claimed a spot in the University’s annual show repertoire last spring. This accomplishment is no small feat, and puts their name in headlines along with all of the longstanding productions that they’ve worked behind the scenes on for years.

Because this was the Techies Union’s time to shine, they were able to tap into and showcase all the lights and sound effects that they don’t normally access fully during other productions.

“We tried to do more with lighting and sound than we have ever before,” said Twombly. “We have moving mirror fixtures and scroller fixtures that move and change color really quickly and smoothly. We’ve used those before but we just tried to do as much as possible because it was our show and we wanted to display all of our hard work.”

While the show was upbeat and definitely put the crowd in a good mood, what was most endearing about the event was seeing all the other performing arts organizations paying it back to the Techies Union. For all the shows, hours and rehearsals the Techies Union works tirelessly on to ensure the actors and actresses perform on stage without a hitch, it was impressive and exciting to see their hard work be acknowledged and praised by everyone.

If you are interested in joining the Techies Union, check out their meetings, which are held on Mondays at 3 p.m. in Donahue 535.

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