Doudna crew members get behind-the-scenes access


Derrick Jackson

Dennis Malak, Production Manager and Auditorium Technical Director for the Doudna Crew, speaks to his crew members on their availability to work during finals week.

Cassie Buchman, Staff Reporter

One of Tiffany Kelly’s favorite pieces of equipment to try out when working behind the scenes of Doudna events is the fly system.

“They hook you in a harness and you fly like Peter Pan, so that is a lot of fun,” she said.

Kelly, a senior psychology major, has been working on the Doudna crew for the last three years of her college career.

“I came here freshman year,” Kelly said. “My boss is a family friend, so I had kind of gotten the job that way.”

Kelly worked her way through various positions in the Doudna Theatre. First starting out in the box office, she then became an usher.

Kelly’s job now includes setting up for the various events the theatre holds each year.

“We set up all the productions,” she said. “We do lights, sometimes the stage needs to be set out for events, setup for theatre productions, a bunch of stuff.”

Kelly’s position on the Doudna crew isn’t static though.

“We all rotate, all share what needs to be done,” she said. “We all usually help each other out.”

Kelly’s job has many perks, such as the chance to meet artists and get what she calls a “behind the scene view.”

Some of her favorite productions to set up for have been Molly Ringwald and the band Pokey LaFarge.

Part of Kelly’s job is to get the artists what they need before a show.

“Each artist wants different things. Some are more picky than others, but I respect their profession because they’ve been doing it longer than we have,” she said.

She and other members of the Doudna crew also get to hang out with artists before and after the show.

“It’s cool to see what they bring to the table,” Kelly said.

Kelly said she has learned a lot in her three years on the crew.

“I learned how to work on a crew, how to work together,” she said. “I learned how much it takes to put a show together.”

She had been to high school shows in the past, but now has a greater appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes of a major production.

Despite enjoying her time in Doudna crew, Kelly doesn’t plan on continuing stage work in her future.

“I want to be a school counselor, so it doesn’t really apply,” she said. “But I do want to go see shows.”

She said she will miss being on the crew, however.

“I’ve found a lot of lifelong friendships; I’ve worked with some of these people until 3 a.m. sometimes, so we’ve gotten close,” she said. “Just by being around someone so much you get to know each other too well.”

Having good friends in the crew is helpful, especially when they go through what Kelly calls “crises” on set.

These include the sound not working, someone not having their microphone, having to go find the artist before they perform, a projector not working, and all the other things that can go wrong when setting up a show.

“When stuff needs to get done, or when there’s a crisis, it’s a pretty big deal,” she said.

A personal challenge Kelly has had is balancing her schoolwork and Doudna crew responsibilities.

“It’s hard sometimes,” she said. “School comes first; sometimes there’s no time to do it all.”

She said the balancing act gets easier with time.

“The longer I was on (the crew) the more I got used to it,” she said.

All in all, Kelly said it has been a good experience.

“I get a lot of hours, so that’s helped me pay for college,” she said.

Some of the things the crew has been working on lately are conference and lecture-type events.

The crew also has to set up for the upcoming holiday concert in December.


Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]