Meet SHS’s new technical director
Maylan Thomas is the new technical director, replacing Patrick Spreadbury. Thomas will also be teaching 6th and 7th period technical theater classes as well as working on shows.
“My hope is that we have a really good transition year with the new tech director,” said Joe King, theater director. “I’m hoping that the students and the community really warm up to Mr. Thomas and welcome him into the drama department.”
Thomas is looking forward to the year.
“The first thing is just getting in the space, getting to meet everybody. Seeing where everybody’s skill sets lie and interests,” Thomas said.
“I’m hoping that having a new director will give a new look to the shows, which I think will be really cool,” said Penelope Musto, sophomore. “Having a new set of eyes will give a new interpretation to shows.”
“Obviously [Thomas] will have a different style than Mr. Spreadbury did. That will be a transition time for students but I don’t anticipate that that will be a rocky transition,” King said. “You’re going to expect at least a continuation of the same technical excellence that people have come to expect.”
Thomas and King do not anticipate many challenges.
“It’s going to be a big challenge for him to learn that big building … and just all the nooks and crannies of how everything works. There’s just so many rooms and spaces in the auditorium that Mr. Thomas is responsible for, that it’s going to take a little bit of time. But I don’t really see that as a huge challenge,” King said.
Thomas has a Bachelors Degree in Theater Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Scenic and Lighting Design from the University of Iowa. He also worked in the army for eight years. Thomas said his time was split between being a tank commander and technical director for the United States Soldier Show.
“That was a really cool show. It was made by the soldiers,” Thomas said. “As a technical director I took the show around the world a couple times.”
He went around the U.S., Korea, Japan and many countries in Europe.
Thomas also worked as a technical designer for Tait Towers.
“That position was one where I was making all sorts of cool stuff for all sorts of cool people. We were doing what’s called high performance rigging or performer flying,” Thomas said.
Thomas previously worked for musicians including Pink, Rolling Stones, Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake. He also worked on the flying carpet for the Broadway production of Aladdin.
Thomas plans on using these experiences to incorporate new ideas into the drama program, including using different materials.
“We might be doing some transitioning away from the woodwork into more of the metal work,” Thomas said. “[Metal] is kind of standard regional theater stuff. I do a lot of different metal working. I’ve worked with plastic, metal; you name the material, I’ve worked with it.”
Thomas also wants to address technology.
“I would love to start seeing more technology and discussion of technology in entertainment being translated into the classroom. My goal is to really introduce that side of the industry early on to understand the value of it,” Thomas said.
According to King, about 20 people applied for the position of technical director.
“[Thomas] really rose to the top because of his amazing experiences. He stood out among the candidates pretty clearly,” King said.
“I just want everyone to have fun,” Thomas said. “The theater’s beautiful. I’m so excited to really just get down to work. I’m confident it’s going to be a great year.”
by Sabine Peterka