By Ashley Hamann, Tillamook County Pioneer Intern
Lights, camera, action! There are so many theatrical performances that you hear about high schools producing such as the infamous Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Grease, and so many more. However, what you have not heard about is the production of a large Neah-Kah-Nie High School show for years. This is because up until now there was work that needed to be done for the stage at the High School and luckily for us and the students, that work is now complete.
Neah-Kah-Nie High School has recently been making strides in terms programs in the arts. Last year, an NKN student won a contest with Hampton Lumber where Hampton donated thousands of dollars for the art department. The music department has just recently been given a $50,000 music technology donation to start doing more music education classes. Now it is time for the theater department to get their chance to shine.
The theater teacher for Neah-Kah-Nie High School, Stephen Jackson-Clark was asked by superintendent Paul Erlebach what needed to be done to make the stage usable for future productions. The first issues to address were fairly clear: the curtains posed as a fire hazard, the sound system was practically non-existent, and there was no theatrical lighting available to be used. With these issues in mind, Mr. Clark began contacting companies to get the ball rolling on fixing up the stage.
The first thing to tackle was the actual setup of the stage and the lighting. Clark contacted a company in Portland called Stagecraft Industries and they quickly formed a plan on how to improve the stage. They replaced the hazardous curtains with new and safe curtains to be used during shows and they set up a state of the art lighting system that will add to the quality of future shows. These new features will also allow students to learn more in terms of stage work, and theatrical lighting techniques.
The other issue at hand was that there was practically no sound system so Mr. Clark reached out to another company called Delta AV. This company specializes in sound equipment and was able to give the school a brand new sound system that will be able to enhance the shows even more.
With all these new changes, join theater students on May 24th at 7 pm for a performance of the play, “Against All Odds” about sixteen year olds surviving high school, to kick off the start of an improved facility for the program. Admission for the play will be free, but donations will be accepted. The stage redeciation ceremony will take place next school year. With the revitalization of this stage, it is hoped that the community will attend the show and support the program as they turn this corner in theater education.