Behind the Curtain of Sweeney Todd

by Nick Cognata


Have you ever wondered how a stage crew has pulled half the neat tricks they have during a play?  How they make scenery disappear, characters fly, or worlds come to life?  Everyone in the audience is always fascinated by these tricks, but no one ever truly knows how they are done. Well, you are about to find out how the RFH stage crew pulls off their tricks.

Students work to create the world of "Sweeney Todd"

Senior Rebecca LaCosta has worked on every play during her four year career at RFH. For the past two years she has been stage manager and has overseen every single special effect done.

“The special effects for this play are very cool,” says LaCosta.

When I finished my interview with Rebecca I couldn’t help but to notice the amazing and detailed sets and props scattered about on the stage. There is an actual trap door where Sweeney Todd is going to dispose of the bodies! Plus, there are going to be some radical lighting effects to convey the mood of each scene, including a deep, ominous red.  These red lights will be flashed on the stage when Sweeney Todd is murdering his victims. The play is worth seeing for just the effects, let alone the great acting.

“Working behind the curtain is nothing short of fun,” says freshman Evan Callahan. “I’m surprised more people don’t do this!”

Mr Pagano and students construct the set

More people should do this for the experience and education they’ll receive. Evan tells me that he has learned more about lighting effects, mechanical effects, and make-up effects then he could ever possibly imagine.  So my fellow RFHers, Sweeney Todd is coming out later this month, check it out!

Sweeney Todd is definitely something you do not want to miss,” says Rebecca. “Anyone who attends the play will most assuredly get there money’s worth!”

Well, there you have it RFH, a “behind the curtain” preview to what will be going on in the play.


Pictures courtesy of Jeanne Johnson

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