Tech Crew Parent Volunteer Helps Students Set The Stage For SPHS Productions


Trista Rassofsky has volunteered at Severna Park High School (SPHS) since 2021, assisting the unseen, but vital, work of the tech crew in SPHS stage productions.

Her son, Caleb, has been working in the tech crew since seventh grade and is now a senior at SPHS. Rassofsky is also an alumnus of SPHS and the “Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival” production, though she worked in the cast.

“It’s something that’s close to my heart to see my son do something that I did as well,” she said.

Her volunteer role includes sourcing materials, providing meals, making art, giving rides and selling flair during productions to fundraise for tech crew.

“Anything that needs doing, I’m happy to do it – it’s kind of my jam,” Rassofsky said.

At times she even provides emotional support for students having a rough day. “Sometimes a kid just needs someone to talk to and I’ll sit in the hall and talk to them,” Rassofsky said.

Parent volunteers function in support roles for the students, allowing them to take charge. Students are the ones building and painting the sets and running the lights, wires and cords. Seniors and juniors oversee the sophomores and freshmen to make sure they’re doing tasks correctly.

Parents also oversee tech crew students as they build the band deck for “Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival” and test it to make sure it can handle the weight of musical instruments and the stress of a dozen students dancing on it.

“We’ve got parents overseeing and making sure the safety is there, but the kids are the ones doing it,” Rassofsky said.

Sometimes helping to build the stage requires looking for some unusual materials. “For ‘The Addams Family,’ I was asking all of the neighbors for dead plants to decorate the Addams house and stage with dead plants,” Rassofsky shared. “The neighbors thought that was pretty funny because I was saying, ‘OK, I need all of your dead plants. Please give them to me.’”

Rassofsky has sourced items that might otherwise be thrown out, like a saxophone that’s missing a piece. “This is how tech crew makes their magic,” she said. “They turn other people’s trash into treasure.”

She also brings some of her own items to decorate the set, including her Victorian-shaped furniture for “The Addams Family.”

Members of the tech crew are not just needed for theater productions. They also work at every school dance concert, music concert and graduation. They even work for non-school-sponsored events held at the high school, including when the U.S. Air Force bands play at the school.

“There has to be someone who’s doing the sound and lights and making sure the stage is set up and ready to go,” Rassofsky said. “It’s far more than just drama.”

Rassofsky’s skill in sourcing materials comes from volunteering for a variety of organizations. She finds the items that she needs by going to Goodwills as far away as Delaware and by reaching out to people in the community.

“Severna Park is very generous in that regard,” Rassofsky said. “They’re really good at opening up their garages, basements and attics and finding all of the weird stuff I’m asking for.”

Sometimes, she even connects people with organizations that will reuse items that might otherwise be thrown away.

Out of all of the productions that Rassofsky volunteers for, her favorite is “Rock ‘N’ Roll Revival” because of its long history and the connections it creates in the community across generations.

“‘Rock ‘N’ Roll’ is looking backward and bringing it forward into the younger generation,” Rassofsky said. “You kind of have the younger generation bringing the older generation back into the school.”


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