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Learning in the City of Lights: Theater Tech Trip to Las Vegas

PC%3A+Lindsey+Lindman+%2722
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Learning in the City of Lights: Theater Tech Trip to Las Vegas

PC: Lindsey Lindman '22

PC: Lindsey Lindman '22

PC: Lindsey Lindman '22

PC: Lindsey Lindman '22

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After spending a full day of school running Jabberfest, a group of sixteen SHS students in the theater technology class started spring break with a rewarding school trip to the city of fun and lights: Las Vegas. Thanks to the connections of their teacher, Scarsdale District Theatrical Consultant Stephen Bogardus, these students had a memorable time exploring the city and gaining behind the scenes access to shows.

The group saw numerous performances, including , “O”, and LOVE by Cirque du Soleil, as well as a performance by the Blue Man Group. For several of the shows, the students gained the additional learning experience of exploring the technical, backstage mechanics and stage set ups.

Since gaining the permission to take students to Las Vegas almost ten years ago, Bogardus has independently organized trips every single year. His friends own theater mechanics companies and work with special effects. “My whole class went to [my friend’s] warehouse where he has water cannons, flamethrowers, smoke machines, bubble machines and anything you can imagine. He shows the students the equipments, gives them a demo on how to use them and allows them to use them, which is a deep learning experience,” said Bogardus. In most years, but unfortunately not on this trip, students could also try out a flying contraption and literally soar around the theater, thanks to a friend of Bogardus that had invented flying mechanisms used in Peter Pan and Cirque de Soleil shows.

PC: Lindsey Lindman ’22

The first show the students watched was “O”, performed entirely over water. Olivia Cohen ’19 found the behind the scenes process especially memorable. “We got to see the whole set up of everything, such as the harnesses and how the bubble machines worked and how they kept the water at a certain temperature. There was a giant spinning trap that everyone was constantly moving from about 80 feet up in the air. It was really cool to see,” explained Cohen. Afterwards, the students saw the actual show, feeling awestruck with a better understanding of how the show was put together. 

The group that traveled to Las Vegas also had the opportunity to meet the Blue Man Group backstage before their performance. The Blue Man Group are known worldwide for their various stage productions that include a large array of categories such as music and art.

Although the shows were the main attraction, the students were also able to visit the Hoover Dam, as well as ride the famous High Roller Ferris Wheel. “We split up during lunch but for dinner all of us were together. It was really nice to get to know [everyone], talk to the group and play fun games. Meeting new people, learning about the sets, seeing memorable shows and walking the Las Vegas Strip—all these experiences and more made up the theater tech trip,” summarized Lindsay Lindman ’22.

When asked if she would go again, Cohen responded with an enthusiastic “definitely.” However, unfortunately for future students, it is unlikely that such trips will continue in the future, as Bogardus will be one of the several SHS faculty members retiring this year. Bogardus will not rest—instead, he is looking for new opportunities to pursue in his original passion of acting. Yet he will think memorably of SHS, especially his annual theater technology trips with his students. “I am going to miss doing what I was doing, and taking the students and giving them this experience,” reflected Bogardus.

PC: Olivia Cohen ’22

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Learning in the City of Lights: Theater Tech Trip to Las Vegas