Behind the Scenes of Young Frankenstein


Miriam Minsk

The soundboard set up for the first performance of Young Frankenstein, Thursday, December 10.

Miriam Minsk, News Editor

After fourteen weeks of preparation and rehearsals, the CESJDS high school production of Young Frankenstein is ready for opening night.

This year’s stage managers, juniors Noy Dahan and Arielle Weinstein spent countless hours after school working on the production. Their job began during auditions in September when they helped Director of Arts Education David Solomon cast the show. Once rehearsals started, Weinstein and Dahan took attendance, made sure that actors were respectful and productive at rehearsals and cleaned out the prop closets.

“Cleaning that closet takes up so much time,” Dahan said. “It’s crazy and it’s a mess because after each production there is always so much left over stuff that you have to put away.”

Weinstein and Dahan attended every practice since September. As the cast began reading through their lines, it was their responsibility as stage managers to block the show, taking note of every actor’s movement and position during each scene. Most of the initial rehearsals were focused on familiarizing the cast with the show, their lines and their music.

The other eleven stage crew members started attending rehearsals a month ago, at which point Dahan and Weinstein began delegating work. The stage crew became responsible for moving the props on and off stage, switching the sets at the appropriate cues and managing the lights.

Junior Dylan Shekter, who joined stage crew in seventh grade, is currently the senior lightboard operator. Shekter will instruct and oversee freshman Ethan Bender on the lightboard during the performance. He enjoys his job because he knows that his work “makes a difference.”

While Shekter sits at the lightboard in the back of the theater, Dahan and Weinstein will be communicating over headset, tasked with the important responsibility of ensuring that all stage crew members follow their cues. Without their direction, the performance would be unsuccessful.  

“Young Frankenstein has more scene changes, more props, more lighting cues, and more sound effects than any other show we’ve done,” Solomon said. “The stage crew is crucial – putting on a show is one big group project, with each person responsible for his or her given tasks.  Each member of the stage crew carries great responsibility so that the show is seamless — they are the unsung heroes of every production.”

Dahan, who has participated in stage crew for five years enjoys the leadership opportunities that this team effort provides her.

“I think I learned a lot about leadership and communication … You have to have this balance between being friends and peers and having fun [with stage crew members], and also giving them good criticism as well,” Dahan said.


Young Frankenstein is playing at the CESJDS Upper School on Thursday, December 10 at 7:30p.m.; Saturday, December 12 at 8:00p.m.; and Sunday, December 13 at 4:00p.m. Tickets are 10 dollars each. For more information about the performance, and to purchase tickets, go to