UDOT lights up Suffolk during annual tech show

March 4, 2020

UDOT+members+step+out+from+behind+the+curtain+to+address+the+crowd

UDOT members step out from behind the curtain to address the crowd

When one thinks of the performing arts, it is often the singers, actors and dancers that are remembered and praised for their performance. However, the true unsung heroes of the performing arts world are the tech and stage crew, who are key players in creating the best performance an audience can see.

On Friday, Feb. 28, the Modern Theatre hosted Techstravanganza, presented by Suffolk’s Union of Designers, Operators and Technicians (UDOT). UDOT works with many of the Performing Arts Office’s (PAO) organizations to assist them with lighting and sounds for their shows, which are often controlled based upon the mood and aesthetic each group is working toward.

Techstravaganza, which is UDOT’s only annual show, allow the club to experiment with different lighting and sound techniques, since they are able to work without the constraints of what each performing group may need.

Six different organizations from PAO performed in this year’s Techstravaganza. Two performances from Suffolk University Dance Company, as well performances from Who’s Askin’, Step in Time, Rampage, Soulfully Versed and the Ramifications, Suffolk University’s award winning a capella group, who you may know from the music that plays when you call the university and put on hold.

Gabriella Carli, a member of both Who’s Askin’ and Rampage, explained how much each club greatly appreciated being invited to perform in this year’s Techstravaganza.

“For both groups, we really appreciate UDOT and all of the hard work that they have done over the course of the semester,” said Carli, a freshman theatre major. “They’re incredible, their tech work helped put on a really great show and made us feel super welcome for both clubs. It was a really great night.”

Besides performances from the PAO groups, UDOT also organized two “Minute to Win It” games to break up the show, based on the popular TV series. The games first required contestants to shake ping pong balls out of a tissue box tied around their back and the second was an egg race, in which contestants had to carry an egg on a spoon in their mouth from one side of the stage to the other. For easy clean-up, however, UDOT used ping pong balls instead of eggs.

Casey Williamson, a sophomore theatre major, won the first game and Logan Casey, a sophomore interior design major, won the second.

UDOT’s adviser Ben Janey said the group runs itself, and he’s just there to support them.

“My job as adviser is primarily just to shepard the group,” said Janey. “It’s the students who run the group, but I help shape how they go and how to get where they want to go.”

The group meets on Tuesdays during activities period at 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 508 of the Sawyer building.  According to Janey, this is when UDOT meets with PAO groups to discuss how the club wants to design shows and performances. They divvy up the roles between the sound, lights and stage managers, and from there they work to begin creating the vision tasked to them.

UDOT President Sarah Brow best described the appreciation PAO and UDOT have for their supporters.

“I appreciate anyone that comes out and supports the theater, performing arts at all,” said Brow. “I feel like often times they are overlooked,  but it is a huge part of a community that embraces everyone and everything and I feel that is a huge part of Suffolk.”

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