The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



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Rylie Newpher debuts as Stage Manager

Steve Braglio
Rylie Newpher, fourth from the left, alongside the Stage Crew Chiefs: James Chen (12), Brett Heier (12), Kayla Digiacomo (12), Anna Smith (11), Jabari Howard (11), Joseph Ko (11), and Madisyn Servais (11). Left to Right.

Behind the curtains of Emmaus’ production of this year’s fall play Little Women is junior Rylie Newpher. Debuting as the Theater Department’s Stage Manager for her first time, Newpher has had years of experience and preparation leading up to this tremendous opportunity. 

Drawn to join the stage crew because of her middle school friends, she has been taking part in putting on shows from behind the scenes for six years now. She also had familial ties to the activity, as her sister had been a member of the Run Crew before her at Lower Macungie Middle School.

 Now in her junior year at Emmaus High School, Newpher has taken up the role of Stage Manager, as well as contributing to both the Build and Run crews. In this position of leadership, she plans the set changes, organizes the set pieces backstage, and spikes those set pieces on the stage. Additionally, she has to assign roles and cues to her fellow crew members.

 During show week, Newpher is in the sound booth with the Lighting and Sound Crews, giving cues to the Assistant Stage Managers backstage.

“This involves a lot of problem solving as the rehearsals go on, and lots of note taking and revision,” Newpher says.

There are many moving parts involved with putting on a production, with over 40 crew members working together in making Little Women come to life. 

To succeed in this, crew members are required to attend rehearsals after school three to five times a week until 6 p.m. These rehearsals may increase in duration as opening night gets closer, with Saturday rehearsals added weeks before the show. 

“It is a huge time commitment and while still dealing with school during the day and homework after rehearsals it becomes quite tiring,” Newpher states.

While this responsibility may feel overwhelming, Newpher acknowledges the success of creating Little Women to “…teamwork, communication, and commitment.” This was a learning experience for her, and she appreciates the support from her friends, family, and directors.

She has made some of her closest friends through her participation in the Theater Department, and says two of her fondest memories from Little Women include her time with her crew members.

“The first is after the second show, it had gone by without any hitches and I just felt so proud of my crew and myself. My second is just spending time with the crew afterwards, we usually go out to get dinner together to celebrate and it’s always really fun,” Newpher says.

Although the crew is rarely seen by the audience, they are heavily important to the outcome of each performance, whether that be the fall play or the spring musical. Newpher feels they are essential to creating a fantastic production. 

“The crew is the backbone. They are always really dedicated and put a lot of time, energy, and effort into the shows to make them come out amazing.  Without them the shows wouldn’t be the same.” Newpher says.

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