The lights dim, the curtain opens, and a beautifully-lit stage appears, lined with holiday poinsettias and filled with 100 smiling performers staring back at the applauding audience.
Have you ever taken a second to ask yourself how that all happened?
The Carlmont Technical Theatre Association (CTTA) is a club that teaches students about the backstage, technical side of a performance. Through running the lights, controlling the sound, and moving set pieces, students learn about another side of theater. CTTA is managed by Carlmont’s theater manager, Geoff Horn.
Horn said, “CTTA is a really cool opportunity for students at Carlmont because it offers a learning experience that students can’t get from inside a classroom. I run CTTA purely as an adviser. I do not make direct decisions on my own; instead, our student executive team leads the decision-making process.”
President Ramy Wong leads CTTA’s club meetings along with her Vice President Lisa Cardoza every other Tuesday.
Wong said, “We use our meetings as a way to get to know other CTTA members. Our training is actually mostly done on the job. A new member will act as a shadow to an existing member during a performance to learn the ropes.”
Since December is filled with numerous performances from Carlmont’s dance, choir, and instrumental music programs, CTTA has been working hard.
Cardoza said, “The Instrumental Music concert landed on the same night as the Winter Dance show, so two fellow club members and I were working the dance show all by ourselves. Our supervisor was nearby, but it was still a really exciting experience for us.”
CTTA is a volunteer club that gives students a chance to donate time back to the community. Last year CTTA collectively worked over 2,400 hours of community service. Students have used their volunteer hours for class credit, girl scouts, college applications, and scholarships.
Horn said, “All of the volunteer hours are on their own time and they decide when they want to work. A lot of students only have time for a few hours per semester, and that is awesome. School comes first, but I really appreciate the time that students give back to their community by volunteering at Carlmont Performing Arts Center.”
CTTA is vital to all performances and events held at Carlmont’s Performing Arts Center.
Director of Carlmont Choirs Genevieve Tep said, “Without CTTA we would have no sound, no lights, no sets, basically no show. We can’t do anything without the help of CTTA. They are truly the MVPs of the performing arts programs.”