Tech week is rough. Tech week, or as I like to refer to it – Hell Week – is a real, honest to God, stress inducing time. For those who do not know, tech week is the week where we run the show with all the technical elements: lights, sound, set changes, et cetera. The stress arises when the problems with these technical elements come to the forefront. Often, we the actors, will run scenes four of five times in a row to set in stone what is happening with all these technical elements in place and smooth out transitions during scene changes and cues.
Having been on both sides of tech (on stage and behind the scenes), I can say that it is equally stressful for both sides of cast and crew. For this show tech was extremely important and beneficial. Blackouts and lengthy scene changes cause Northanger Abbey to drag. Tech mostly, for the actors, revolved around smooth transitions from one scene to the next without the usual blackout to make the show run as fluidly as possible. Aside from the lack of sleep and trying to cram homework in between runs and scenes, tech for this show was comparably easy.
I could not even imaging the stress incurred on the crew for a show like Peter Pan (all the flying sequences), The Lion King (costumes, mechanics, and puppetry), or King Kong: The Musical (yes it is a thing, and yes, there is a giant animatronic gorilla; Google it). Granted, these are all musicals, but each show comes with its own technical difficulties, and tech often adds a bit of wonder and excitement to a show. I am not saying that there needs to be a thirty-foot tall animatronic gorilla added to Northanger. Northanger has its own charm, the technical aspect enhances it.