by Annie Tanella
The current disarray of the WHS auditorium is due to the construction to replace the fly system; a majority of the auditorium will remain prohibited to students until the estimated completion date of Oct. 9.
According to a list of technical theater terms at colby.edu, a fly system, also known as rigging, is “a series of pulleys, ropes, wires, and/or other apparatus which collectively allows the hanging and movement of curtains, lighting instruments, scenery, and even people.”
“Everything that's hung on or above the stage is hung off of the fly system,” said senior Production Crew Member Alex Ying. “The fly system is crucial to the operation of the theatre/auditorium. Without it, the stage can't be lit, there would be no curtains and set pieces can't be moved in or out.”
According to Art Teacher Mr. Roy Chambers, the former system was over 25 years old, and it was becoming dangerous for students, teachers, and other auditorium attendees. “It was mostly a safety issue, and we didn’t want to take any chances,” he said.
Chambers added that a bond for the construction was recently approved, and the project began at the beginning of the school year.
“They're pulling everything out and installing all new ropes, pulleys, bars and safety equipment,” said senior Production Crew Member Rob Cassie.
While the construction is underway, “access to the stage is prohibited... and access to the auditorium is prohibited from the hallway; it is only allowed via the auditorium lobby,” said Cassie.
According to senior and International Thespian Society Treasurer Allie Hecht, the inability for students involved in the fall play to use the auditorium and stage is currently an inconvenience. “We have to rehearse in other locations, like the foyer and the cafeteria,” she said.
Said Ying: “Everyone who uses the auditorium will benefit. The music department concerts, as well as the elementary schools that come in the spring to put on variety shows and the middle school graduations will see the benefits. It will also help us continue to put on award winning productions like Sweeney Todd and Pippin.”
“I hope that they will finish with enough time for the fall play,” said Chambers. “I look forward to seeing all of the new capabilities of the system.”