Part teen comedy, part backstage drama, TECHIES’ quirky and hilarious pop-rock score smashes the fourth wall and celebrates the search for acceptance in the most judgmental place in the world–high school.
Set in Westside High School’s theater department, TECHIES chronicles the war between the actors and the technical theater specialists for a foothold in the school’s social ladder—even if it is the lowest rung. Rebellion foments. Friendships shatter. Romances bloom.
Set in Westside High School’s theater department, TECHIES chronicles the war between the actors and the technical theater specialists for a foothold in the school’s social ladder—even if it is the lowest rung.
As pompous and insecure actors try to dominate and diminish the awkward but crafty techies, sophomore stage manager Joan strives to keep everyone on speaking terms, all while pursuing her own dream of being the first ever “techie” president of a state theater association. But when her best friend, actor Veronica ascends to social media stardom in the school and decides to run for the same office, Joan gains clarity on all the slights suffered by techies at the hands of actors and leads a techie rebellion.
All the while, the whole theater department works to put on a mind-blowing production of an avant garde hip-hop musical about the life of Charles Darwin—while also fighting for survival in a school dominated by sports and on constant look-out for budgets to cut. When it looks like the opening night of DARWIN will be the closing night of the theater department, times become desperate, and techie-actor factionalism increases.
Against this backdrop, shy and quirky lighting designer Casey “Night Train” Garcia cherishes a secret crush on Veronica while shining a spotlight on her from afar, bohemian costumer Molly “Stitches” Mitchell carries on a secret and forbidden affair with quirky actor Ash, and set-designer Drew “The Hammer” Cisneros pursues a flirtation with Joan.
When Joan succeeds in bringing down Veronica’s social status with a nasty social media post and the formerly victimized (or at least overlooked) techies sabotage the actors on DARWIN’s opening night, all must reevaluate what kind of community they want to be a part of.
What Fourth Wall?
TECHIES is not just a backstage drama, it’s also a front-stage drama. As so many technical theater elements are literally behind and around the audience (like the sound mixer, the spotlight op, etc.), the show should take place not just onstage, but also around the audience. For instance, the number “Behind the Spotlight,” Night Train’s love song to Veronica should be sung while actually shining a spotlight on her from the spotlight platform.
Our hope is that this approach will serve not just to shine our own light on the technical end of theater, but also to break down barriers between the actual roles. We hope that actual techies will take on some of the show’s speaking/singing roles–or that actors will learn some of the technical skills of the techies they’re playing.
Cast Size / Breakdown
TECHIES has a flexible cast size and gender breakdown.
Its 22 named roles are easily condensible with doubling to 18 or so, and its ensemble is easily expanded to 30+.
TECHIES is nominally written for a cast of 13 females and 9 males, though several 3 other male roles may be cast as female, and 5 other female roles may be cast as male.
TECHIES had its first workshop production in February of 2019 at Rockford University and was then performed in concert by Rockford students at The Duplex in New York City.