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Departments

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!

Cast

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.

Student Directing

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.

Stage Management

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.

Lights

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 and Black Box into a new world for every show. They design and build the sets used for performances. With assistance from our Technical Directors, Carl Smith and Marissa Kennedy, the department works swiftly to create a professional looking set in just a few months.

Sound

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 create the sound effects to establish the perfect mood for the show.

Costumes

Heads: Julia Ratigan ’24 and Nellie Shorts ’24

The Costumes department designs and creates the costumes worn in the show. They select, modify, and repurpose clothing in our Costumes Shop, and they even sew outfits by hand or with a sewing machine, with the help from our Costumes Coach, Kelly Myers. When the show comes around, they also help with quick-changes backstage.

Props

Heads: Alice Deutsch ’23 and Marlena “Mars” Marg Bracken ’23

The Props department creates and designs the objects that the actors use on stage. Most recently, they ventured out and began to create show-stopping puppets, creating an enormous Frankenstein monster for Young Frankenstein (2019) and a Chinese New Year Dragon-inspired crocodile for Peter and the Starcatcher (2019). The 2019 Props department won a Cappies Award for their work in Peter and the Starcatcher.

Publicity

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. 

Choreography

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.

Pit

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 plays in the spring musicals, they sometimes provide background music or sound effects for plays to make the experience of the show more real. 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, such as jazz, rock, funk, swing, Latin, and blues.

Cappies

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.