Operating the lights at one of D.C.’s most popular nightclubs is a Whitman student who will bring cutting-edge effects to Whitman’s talent show this week.
The technology will be new to Whitman, but not to junior Marcus De Paula, who runs lights for concerts at Club Dream. De Paula will go straight from school on Fridays to begin working, and on Saturdays will work from noon to 2-4 a.m.
“We’re using what’s called ‘intelligent lighting,’ [and] it’s one of the most impressive and technically intricate high school shows in the area,” said De Paula, describing a technology that uses computer-controlled lighting fixtures that have a 360-degree range of motion and can create patterns.
DE PAULA’S light will shine on a capella singers, ballet and modern dancers, a rock cover band, an original ska band and an original acoustic guitar performance.
The talent show is written, directed, advertised and performed by Whitman students.
“Everybody who is performing is extremely talented. It’s pretty selective to be in the show,” said director Mars Hannah, who said the 14 acts were among the 25 percent to make the cut during auditions. In his senior year, Hannah is running the annual production, in which he was once a performer and assistant director.
Between performances, Whitman students will perform skits with an “International Men of Mystery” theme. James Bond, Inspector Gadget, Nancy Drew, and, of course, Austin Powers will all make appearances.
“We have a pretty wide array of everyone’s favorite spies,” said acting director Elizabeth Sczudlo. “We put the characters in a situation you wouldn’t ordinarily find them.”
“It all runs together, which makes it more than just a typical talent show,” said Hannah.
THE BANDS in the show range from the rock covers of Suburban Might, to punk band Halfway There, to ska band Down With the Supa.
Andrew Maury plays lead guitar for Suburban Might and is the talent show’s assistant director. His band will play Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion.”
“I like playing music that people are interested in hearing; we want to be a popular band,” said Maury.
With the hi-tech light system rented for a week and 14 disparate acts to coordinate Hannah said the preparation is intense, but he is excited about the production.
“I think the variety between the talent acts and the skits and the ability to watch [both] keeps the mind engaged,” he said.