Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Prather shines behind the scenes of theater

When putting on a performance in Liberty’s auditorium, a lot of work goes into making sure everything onstage is perfect. Dealing with the soundboard, lighting, and various technical equipment is pivotal to make the performances shine.

As the student theater manager, junior Matthew Prather manages the technical side of theater, working in the booth and making sure all the equipment is working properly.

“If the house lights are broken, it’s my job to go up there and fix them,” Prather said. “I also teach whoever is new in the booth and show them how that works.”

The tech booth can be found in the back part of the auditorium with a large window to have a full view of the stage. Within the booth, stage lighting, sounds, and projections are controlled, but also lots of fun occurs.

“Last year during Mamma Mia, I introduced a fun activity for the booth where we would have themes for each night,” Prather said. “The first night we were dressed as bananas and we had other themes like scuba gear and pajamas.”

Prather started his freshman year in the booth as the lightboard operator, controlling equipment and light cues.

“I was in there with three seniors and the theater manager at the time, April. April taught me everything when I was starting but when the seniors left and her job ended, I unfortunately had to adapt and became a temporary student theater manager,” Prather said.

Not only does Prather help with tech at Liberty through plays and musicals, events for choir, and setting up ROTC events, but he also pursues his interests outside of school.

“I run the video cameras for the Highlands Community Church for online services and provide all the camera angles for the band,” Prather said. “When I want a break from camera work, I will do the slideshow too.”

In addition, Prather does smaller tech jobs when needed at different places. Last year, he worked on the soundboard for a recital for the Blue Dog Dance studio.

Tech-wise, Prather said there are many things people can look forward to in the upcoming school musical, Anything Goes. For this musical, Prather will be acting instead of working in the booth for a change.

Anything Goes is a tap musical which will bring an interesting component with sounds because you have to balance out both the sound of tap shoes and singing,” Prather said. “When there is not a lot of people tapping, floor mics can help boost the noise of the shoes so the audience can hear it.”

Ultimately, the duality of being in the tech booth drew Prather to that side of theater where he continues to use his skills to enhance onstage performances.

“It’s fun to be able to watch everything happen while also adding input to it,” Prather said. “In the booth, you get to watch every single scene while knowing that you’re actively doing a job to support.”

About the Contributor
Kathryn Langworthy
Kathryn Langworthy, Staff Writer
Kathryn Langworthy is a sophomore at Liberty High School and a staff writer for the Patriot Press. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, playing piano, and reorganizing her room.