Inside Cutler’s world of tech



Sophomore Kate Cutler started working on tech for drama performances in 6th grade. She has since worked on 17 shows in the past five years.

When watching a high school production, most people aren’t thinking about the set or the lighting changes. Often unseen by the audience, sophomore Kate Cutler works with tech at productions at the high school.

Cutler is able to work through the difficulties of tech through determination, commitment, and problem solving in order to make the high school’s shows the best that they can be.

Cutler was first introduced to tech at the Rashi School, where tech director Mike Finke offered a class that interested her. She was drawn to tech because it was a way to be apart of shows without having to do any acting on stage.

Cutler has done tech for over 17 shows over the span of five years. She has worked on musicals like Sweeny Todd, the dance show Progressions, music concerts and plays like Hamlet. Hamlet is the first show that Cutler has done tech for the full duration of the show.

The difficulty of the work that Cutler does within tech ranges depending on which job she is assigned to do.

“There is the tech that’s building, then there’s also designing lights, which is definitely harder because when designing lights you have to come up with a bunch of ideas,” Cutler said. “With stage managing, you have to be on top of the show and know when the next thing is coming.”

The amount of people that Cutler works with per show ranges from six to 15, depending on how many people are needed.

Cutler works alongside junior Jamie Hintz. Hintz himself has been working on tech for three years and with Cutler for over a year.

“Kate always brings a solution to the table. She comes to the show and rehearsals with a positive attitude, and is ready to work and engage,” Hintz said. “She takes initiative and can pre-plan and anticipate things that others will need or assistance that she can provide. She brings an amazing positive smile to the tech team and makes it enjoyable.”

Those in tech are not under the spotlight like the actors are, but they do get recognition for all of the hard work that they put into the show.

“I think they are not seeking recognition in the way that actors are. Our director says ‘cast and crew,’ I disagree with that. I think that if you do tech then you are a part of the cast because you are a part of the group of people that are bringing this world into a reality,” Hintz said.

Both Cutler and Hintz are improving their tech skills and learning under the guidance of drama teacher and tech director Mark Vanderzee, who has been teaching at the high school since 2001. He says it’s rare to find students who want to work on every show as Cutler does.

“Her biggest strength is that she is a question asker. She’s interested in how we are going to figure things out and creative problem solving,” Vanderzee said. “She shows great commitment and we can count on her coming to work with a good attitude. She’s a pleasure to work with.”