Harriton Theater Company has many different departments that all work together to put on each show. All student-led, each department focuses on an aspect of theater to master and aid in each production. Students are encouraged to try out multiple departments to discover their passions and receive a well-rounded theatrical education. Read more about HTC’s departments below!
After an audition process, Cast spends the weeks before a show in rehearsals, held most days of the school week from 3:00-5:30. Additional tech rehearsals are held on the weekends prior to the performance. Actors are not bound to audition for all three productions. For our Fall Play and Spring Musical, the cast is directed by Neill Hartley. Learn more about Neill here.
Head: Addy Morgenstern ’24
Student directors work directly with the director of HTC, Neill Hartley. This department helps cast the shows, assists in the directing process and giving notes to actors, and acts as a second hand to Neill. The student directors are a vital role in HTC, especially relaying information to and from the adults and students in the company.
Head: Ashton Norwood ’23
HTC’s Stage Management department organizes rehearsals, rehearsal materials, and makes sure departments are on the same page throughout the rehearsal process. During shows, they are backstage calling cues and ensuring that the production runs smoothly.
Head: Adam Gilbert ’23
HTC’s Lights department designs all the lighting for each show. They hang and readjust individual lights to create the perfect atmosphere in the theater. They brilliantly use over 150 lighting fixtures to make the show look its best.
Stage Crew/Set Design
Heads: Dashiel Albright ’23 and Emma Crawford ’24
Stage Crew transforms Harriton’s auditorium or Black Box into a new world for every show. With assistance from our technical directors, Carl Smith and J. Bean Schwab, the department works swiftly to design and build a professional-looking set in just a few months.
Heads: Ally Fenton ’23 and Anna Fleur ’24
Sound controls all microphones and sound effects. They ensure all actors are heard by the audience. The department works tirelessly to find the right levels for each individual microphone and to create sound effects that establish the perfect mood for the show.
Heads: Julia Ratigan ’24 and Nellie Shorts ’24
The Costumes department designs and creates the costumes worn in the show. Supported by Kelly Myers, our costumes coach, they select, modify, and repurpose clothing to curate outfits for each character. When the show comes around, they also help with quick changes backstage.
Heads: Alice Deutsch ’23 and Marlena “Mars” Marg Bracken ’23
The Props department creates and designs the objects that the actors use on stage. They also make props that decorate the stage and add atmosphere to the set. The 2019 Props department won a Cappies Award for their work in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Heads: Ava Marcus ’23 and Ariana Pavri ’25
HTC’s Publicity department focuses on advertising and preparing the shows for the audience. Publicity spreads the word by designing posters, creating displays in the Harriton lobby, making promotional videos, managing social media accounts, updating the website, and more. Additionally, Publicity creates the Playbill for the show, takes headshots, and facilitates ticket sales.
Hair and Makeup
Heads: Ava Mariani ’23, Elaina Steinberg ’23, and Pearl McShane ’24
The Hair and Makeup department gets our actors ready for the stage. They ensure that the performers’ looks match the shows and characters by creating unique hairstyles and makeup looks for each actor, whether they need a natural look or something more dramatic.
Heads: Ava Marcus ’23 and Cara McGowan ’25
The Choreography heads spend their time working with our choreography coach, MeLinda Tatum Kaiser, to teach students the dances for our musicals. They also assist MeLinda with creating the choreography; some numbers are choreographed by the heads solely. They make sure that the dances look great each show by giving notes throughout the rehearsal process.
Heads: Dylan Cantor ’23 and Izzy Levit ’23
Harriton’s Pit Orchestra accompanies the actors with music in different types of productions. Though the Pit mainly performs for the spring musicals, they sometimes provide background music or sound effects for the plays to make the experience more immersive. The Pit Orchestra is made up of brass, woodwind, percussion, and string instruments and has played all types of genres within musicals in the past. The heads work with our music director Ryan Peteraf to lead the ensemble.
Lead Critic: Sam Bailey ’23
Cappies is a program that promotes high school theater and journalism. It has regional chapters across the country, and the Harriton Cappies team, composed of six critics, is a part of the Greater Philadelphia Cappies. The Cappies critics attend and review other high schools’ theatrical productions. Reviews are submitted to the organization and become eligible for publication on the Cappies website. At the end of the year, the program hosts a Gala, where the best actors, departments, and shows are nominated and awarded by the critics (see HTC’s reviews and awards here). Cappies is different from other HTC departments in that it has an application process to join.