2 on Broadway tour are home, helping to make us their guest - Omaha World-Herald

“I’m in charge of a 10-member crew, overseeing putting the show together, running it and taking it apart again,” she said from Midland, Texas, where the show had arrived last week before visiting Tucson, Arizona, and Wichita, Kansas, on the way here.

Parrish visits each theater ahead of the crew, checking out how the show will fit into the venue.

Parrish, 27, began with set painting and construction in high school. She earned a music degree at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, but also worked backstage at the Lamb Theatre in Sioux City and on college productions before discovering a career in technical theater was possible. She then earned a master’s degree in technical theater at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

She misses being a tuba and trumpet player (“Some days I want to be in the pit playing with the orchestra,” she admits), but she loves what she does.

It’s a good thing, since she’s been living mostly on the road for 2½ years with “Shrek the Musical,” “Billy Elliott the Musical” and “Beauty and the Beast,” visiting scores of American cities via sleeper bus. But she gets work breaks, including one in Spencer and the Omaha area in November. Her brother, Dominic Parrish, and his wife live in Council Bluffs.

One of her crew, Mitch Chvala of Omaha, works as flyman and assistant carpenter. Chvala, 24, plots out what lighting equipment and scenery will hang from which overhead pipes, then makes sure it’s all weighted and hung properly. During the show, he makes sure the right fly rope gets pulled at the right moment to raise and lower backdrops.

Chvala discovered tech theater at Benson High School, where his mom suggested enrolling in a stagecraft class. He worked with John Gibilisco in the Omaha Community Playhouse’s apprenticeship program, which led to jobs with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan tour of “A Christmas Carol” and doing lights for traveling musicians (Third Day, Bob Dylan) with...

Source: www.omaha.com


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