A group of Upper School students recently visited ETC, a leading manufacturer of lighting equipment, where they learned that you don’t have to be on stage to have a career in the arts.
If you’ve ever been to a live theatre performance—including the ones held at University School—there’s a good chance you’ve seen a stage that was illuminated by lighting equipment designed and manufactured by ETC. The company is a global leader in the manufacturing of lighting and rigging technology, employing more than 1,000 people across 10 countries, and is headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin.
Recently, USM’s Technical Theatre Director Jeremy Woods took students in his Stagecraft course on a tour of ETC’s facility, something he has been doing since 2015. In addition to the tour, students also received a tutorial on how to operate the lights. “It’s an invaluable opportunity for students,” he said. “Not only do they get professional training on these light boards that they’ll be using for class, but they also get to see that you don’t have to be a lighting designer—or really even have any interest in lights or theatre at all—to work for a company like ETC.”
“When we were on our tour, we walked down a hallway that showed the history of ETC and all the different lights they have produced, from the oldest to the newest,” said Jacques Blashka ’22. “It was cool to see how the lighting has changed, from big and bulky squares to small cylindrical tubes, and the change from incandescent to LED bulbs.”