Mr. Guna and Mr. Shyam: The Backbone of the Theater

Sanjeev Naiek

Mr. Guna and Mr. Shyam are clearly the indisputable backbone of the theater. After interviewing both of them, it has become clear to me that without these two individuals not only would theater productions cease to function properly, but fundamental aspects of the school would as well.

So who are they? They are the lighting and sound engineers of the theater. Combined, the two of them have over four decades of experience in their lighting and sound fields. Both also hold degrees, with Mr. Shyam holding a lighting degree and Mr. Guna holding a degree in sound engineering. They oversee the technical aspects of plays, presentations, and our HS Assembly.

Mr. Shyam comes to school every single day with a determined outlook, ready for anything that comes his way. This was evident from our meeting. He is responsible for not only the maintenance and upkeep but also the programming of all 60 performance grade lights in the theater. Mr. Shyam personally has to learn the ins and outs of every single ES, MS, and HS play in order for his lighting cues to be as perfect as they currently are. Additionally, he has to program different scenes as lighting profiles within his mixer board, which takes time and energy. Without Mr. Shyam’s lighting expertise and experience, not a single play could operate easily. One would have to learn exactly what he does and how he is able to do it.

Mr. Guna has similar rigorous, yet fulfilling responsibilities every day. Not only does he keep the theater sound system working and functioning optimally, but he also ensures the recording studio functions and prepares for the weekly HS Assembly’s sound effects and slideshow. Without his sound knowledge, not a single play production would be possible. Ranging from matching sound effects to the time period of the play to the technical calibration of the speakers, Mr. Guna is a very versatile person. He does work in mixing and processing of music, but is also part of a band (Terra Rosa Gypsies) with over 20 unreleased tracks. His 2 youtube channels- one for his band and one for his personal music - have a total view count of over 171,000 people. He also dabbles in filmography and even owns a camera drone.

An anecdote that truly stuck out was Mr. Guna and Mr. Shyam’s description of how they worked together on the Great Gatsby. When asked about the play, Mr. Guna told me the following: “I was very invested in both the movie and the book [version] of the Great Gatsby. I remember reading the book many years ago and loved the movie as well. These experiences gave me a lot of pressure to help make sure [the play] had the best possible lighting and sound for the effects. Great Gatsby was especially tough because it had over 48 scenes, meaning that [Mr. Shyam and I] had to program 48 different scenes into both lighting and sounds, and we had to learn every single cue from the play. Most plays of the length of the Great Gatsby had around 30 scenes, so [it was more challenging].” It is clear that these two people are an integral part of the Theater and truly invest so much of themselves into the productions we watch in the span of an hour or two.