Behind the Curtain: Assistant Technical Director

To the audience, Central High Theatre looks nothing shy of perfection. But once the curtain closes what goes on behind the red velvet? Senior theatre student Caden Lefler gives a glimpse at what Central High Theatre looks like behind the curtain.

By: Caden Lefler

Imagine 50 theatre technicians running rampant throughout a scene shop, each trying to build something but never coordinating with one another and never completing a full set of tasks. That’s theatre without an Assistant Technical Director (ATD). While the most obvious job of the ATD is bringing order to chaos in the absence of the technical director, that isn’t all they do. ATD’s are constantly relaying information, answering thousands of questions, remaining in constant contact with the technical and artistic directors, and still keeping everyone on task. Seems like quite the job, but what does it take to be an ATD? 

“The ATD is an essential component to the technical crews,” says Joey Lore, the technical director for Central High Theatre. “I simply cannot steer the ship alone.” Mr. Lore has a very difficult task in finding the right person for the job. “I consider a multitude of factors, the skill set needed, and the ability to put up with me huffing and puffing and barking at them to keep the production on schedule,” he said. An ATD must be a strong-willed individual with great leadership, able to keep everyone on schedule, including Mr. Lore. 

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” ATD Eli Oyler and Sound Crew Head Ethan Mann work on the Cathedral Bells for the Bell Tower Scene.

A show simply cannot not go on without an ATD; they are the glue that holds all technical elements together. Without them, the crew would be lost and technical directors would absolutely lose their minds trying to run everything by themselves. “As ATD you have a lot of responsibility,” says recent Central High Theatre graduate Ayden Whitney. 

While the ATD can be a very difficult job with the many tasks they must take care of each and every day, it can be one of the most rewarding roles on the crew. The feeling after finishing a show is like no other, it’s a sense of confidence and accomplishment. “Being ATD is very fun, but it is a lot of work that you have to be prepared for,” says Whitney.