Let there be spotlight
The name Booth has quite an intense theatrical history: Its the surname of famed 19th-century thespian Edwin Booth, who has a Broadway theatre named after him, and his less successful actor brother, John Wilkes Booth, whose most famous act in a theatre was assassinating President Abraham Lincoln.
But the word booth is a bit less dramatic. It's where lights, sound, backstage communication and other technical elements are controlled during the performance. In short, the show can't go on (not smoothly at least) without all of the hard work that goes on inside that little area.
You'll often find the stage manager hanging around the booth, coordinating with the board operator, who gets to manipulate those cool-looking levers that control the placement and intensity of the lights on stage, the volume of the microphones and all the other things that help make an actor look and sound good (or not). That's why performers like to stay on the good side of the booth staff--especially in big budget musicals with lots of moving parts.
If you're in Phantom of the Opera, you want to make sure that chandelier doesn't fall on you. So the next time you give a standing ovation, remember how much the guys in the booth contributed to the success of the show. They may be the ones responsible for the spotlight but it's rarely shined on them.
-- Raven Snook
This video was made by Theatre Development Fund. Here’s the team: