Students get on-the-job training in 'the show before the show' (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Published: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 04:08 PM.


At 7:30 a.m., student and local professional stagehands gather for a load-in briefing, dividing into carpentry, electrical, costume and sound teams.

A half-hour later, the teams begin unloading tractor-trailers that arrived in the wee hours. For "The Addams Family," equipment, props, costumes and scenery traveled 500 miles from Shreveport, La., the night before.

By 10 a.m., the four trailers are empty, their contents distributed around the stage, in the wings, in dressing rooms or zooming up into the fly-space above the stage.

Long — one of Mahle's students before he graduated from NWFSC and went to the University of Tampa to study film and communications — says he likes keeping in touch with his theatre roots.

"I like being able to switch around," he says. "I never feel lacking for something to do. It keeps me on my feet."

About 90 percent of the production's approximately 50 stagehands are NWFSC students, Mahle says.

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