Illinois Theatre Fest Overjoyed with Apex

In the winter of 1975, a planning committee began forming the first-ever Illinois High School Theatre Festival. This state-wide festival has been bringing students and teachers together from around the state for this non-competitive event ever since. The 2024 festival featured a production of She Kills Monsters, a drama-comedy by Qui Nguyen that debuted in 2011.

Noah Record was involved with the festival when he was a high school student, “I vividly remember being able to work on an ETC Obsession II at the time and being so excited as we didn’t have anything that impressive at our high school,” Record recalls.

This year, six students were selected to be part of the production’s lighting team for the show that would take place at Illinois State University, Braden Auditorium. With a load in date of January 8, a preview on January 10, and shows on January 12 and 13, there was little time for designing or programming in the space.IMG_7317

When Record, who now works for Protolight, reached out to ETC asking if they’d be willing to help, they were honored. “I knew that there was no group of people in the state that would be more excited to see and experience (ETC’s Apex console) than this group of students. This couldn’t have been more true - from the time they heard it was confirmed that we would be using it, to the photos of the road case before it was opened, to spending countless hours programming on it, troubleshooting, and learning all they could during our production week.”

The lighting crew was also able to fully integrate Augment3d to pre-cue the production this year which helped immensely with the tight timeline. From the moment load in started on Monday morning, to the first preview on Wednesday evening, students were responsible for hanging, cabling, and focusing a plot that incorporated about 54 moving fixtures and 100 conventional fixtures along with custom-built pixel sticks. “This particular production also had lots of moving scenic elements, so it was exceptionally helpful to add into Augment3D to keep tracking consistent.”

Record has volunteered on several All-State Productions over the years. “The students are always phenomenal. They come from across the state from a variety of schools and backgrounds to do what they love which is work on and design lighting.”


Learn more about the Illinois High School Theatre Festival here:


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Rachel Frederick
Rachel has worked with ETC since 2007. She takes advantage of the limited warm months in Wisconsin by participating in outdoor activities like camping, paddle boarding, kayaking, and riding waterslides. She has several gardens that she swears she’ll be able to keep up with someday. And she enjoys stretchy things like new socks, yoga, and taffy. She writes a lot, she reads a lot and she plays with her kids a lot.