JCHS News

Metamorphosis by the Numbers

Noah G., Class of 2011
125,000+ dollars
1,000+ audience members
17 company members
12 performances
2 countries
1 original show

Summer carries a very different meaning for each member of the Scotland Company. Some people just sit at home and relax. Some people go off to camp. Some people travel half way around the world, only to do it again in August. No matter what they are up to, Metamorphosis and the American High School Theater Festival (AHSTF) trip is probably the furthest thing from their minds.

For me, however, the AHSTF has remained at the forefront of my mind. To understand why, lets go back to the beginning of last school year. While we were deeply engulfed in The Sound of Music, Dylan Russell and Joe McDonald approached me asking if I would like to be the Production Manager for the spring show. “Well, sure,” I replied, “but what does production managing entail?” Now, almost a year later, I am only beginning to understand what the job means. Having been Stage Manager for previous shows, I had already been exposed to the behind the scenes in the theater. But what happens behind the scenes outside of the theater?
I soon learned that I would be responsible for helping to plan everything related to the students. I would even be responsible for planning things that I didn’t even know existed!

Even though JCHS would raise most of the money necessary for us to embark upon our journey, the administration wanted the company to take part in fulfilling that responsibility. Therefore, the company was responsible for raising $5,500. This fundraising became the main topic of conversation at our weekly meetings. I would take notes during the meetings, and pursue leads between meetings.

Only a fraction of my work, however, would involve the entire company. After all, planning a 16 day trip for 20 people is no small feat. I helped to create schedules and timelines, and to distribute the information. When we had a need, I had to help figure out how to fulfill that need.

A key tool enabling me to complete my job is our company website and email system. With such a large volume of information, I needed to be able to distribute information quickly and clearly. I worked with Micah Fenner to build the site from scratch, and to maintain it with the most up to date information throughout the year. Without the site, it would have been impossible for me to pose a question to the company and have a response from every single person in 24 hours. But with modern technology, this sort of task was a breeze.

Fundraising, scheduling and distribution of information are all important tasks that came as part of my job. However, arguably the single most important part of job has been to ensure all arrangements are in place for our four performances on the world stage. Performing in our home theater requires a lot of preparation; performing on the other side of the world requires an unbelievable amount of preparation. From making sure our equipment will work with UK voltage, to taking an inventory of the hundreds of objects that need to be brought along, every single step is crucial to enabling us to have a successful performance run in Scotland.

As I conclude this blog entry, we are making final preparations for the big trip. The numbers at the top of the page are still daunting to me as I realize that one error could affect the entire trip, but through all this I have faith that our hundreds of hours of planning will finally pay off.

Stay tuned to this page for the Scotland Company’s live blog from Scotland!

Still want to see Metamorphosis? Come see the final full Bay Area performance Thursday August 4 at 7pm in the JCHS Theater. The company will also perform an excerpt at the San Francisco Theater Festival! Join them for their performance Sunday, August 7 at 3:30 in the Fleet Room at Fort Mason Center.
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Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.