Wooster Alumni Return to Theater Tech
Posted 01/20/2023 03:00PM

Wooster Alumni Return to Theater Tech

by: Alé Greco

Harrison Becker, '16 & Will Santella, '17

The Wooster community is excited to welcome back Will Santella and Harrison Becker as the new tech directors for the musical "Godspell." Harrison graduated one year before Will and after his wonderful experience at Wooster School, he went off to undergrad at Becker College in Wooster, Massachusetts, and then got his master's there for game designing and programming. Soon after that, he started his own company where he's been creating his own videogames and working on and off with an IoT company doing prototype design.

Will has been on many adventures after his experience here, at Wooster.

Will got his bachelor's degree in geology at the College of Wooster. After that, he took a semester off due to the Covid-19 outbreak and started his own wood shop, and started volunteering at a farm. Then, he moved to Colorado and went to Colorado State University and got his master's degree in education, and became a high school science teacher for a year. Then, he moved back to Ridgefield in May, where he started working at the farm he was volunteering at during Covid. He spent the entire summer and a big chunk of the fall farming.

For Will and Harrison both, theater played a huge part in their high school experiences. The theater was a part of the day that they would be able to look forward to after all their classes, whether it was acting or tech. For Will, the opportunity to come back to Wooster from a management point of view appealed to him very much. For Harrison, he felt such a connection with the community when he was here as a student he was simply thrilled to come back.

For four years of high school, many memories happen inside of the theater and outside with the rest of the community. For Will, one of his favorite memories inside of the theater is how after the show Urinetown, which was the show he did during his junior year, they struck set and all the actors and techies started singing the songs from the musical together. One reason why Will loves theater so much is simply because of that aftermath appreciation of the show and the connections you gain along the way. Outside of theater though one of Will's favorite memories is when all the artists and singers got together and he was able to perform with The Madrigals. It was his first real-time performance in front of people without it being a show or musical.

Harrison, on the other hand, had to say that his favorite memory outside of the theater was definitely when his whole class was positive that DQ Day was going to be on a certain day that it ended up not being on. His whole class was so upset that they all skipped their classes and created their own DQ day. They set up a water slide outside of the library and ordered pizza. They made it to the period just after lunch before anyone could get them to head to class. Inside the theater, though, his favorite memory is probably the closing night of Urinetown which was Harrison's last show he would be a part of as a Wooster Student. To him, that night as a whole was so surreal and overall a great fun experience.

Considering how they graduated before the global pandemic, a lot has changed in the community and on the campus itself. For Harrison one of the biggest things he noticed that changed was how there are more walkways and fewer trees. Even though he's very glad that he doesn't have to walk in front of as many cars, he's still a little upset that the large tree in front of the Middle School was removed. Will noticed that it was more the management and community itself that has changed. He's enjoyed the conversations he's had with people so far, so to him, it seems that the school is still on a positive path and heading a good way.

This year, the musical being performed is "Godspell" and it happens that Will played Judas in the same musical here at Wooster his senior year. Will now, being one of the heads of tech, doesn't get much time to watch the actors. Even through his busy work schedule, he is still able to notice the enthusiasm and excitement the techies and actors all hold for the show. He loves listening and singing along to the music as he walks by with a nostalgic feeling in mind.

Even though Will and Harrison haven't been here for all that long yet, they have some favorite parts about being back. Will says the best part about being back is having that hands-on perspective of the show. Will, being an actor, was always more or less told what to do and where to go. But, now he can put his own influence on the show and the techies themselves. He can now teach the lessons and values he was taught about the theater from back when he was in high school. Seeing how the theater at Wooster had such a positive impact on Will's life, it's very exciting for him to share that joy with other students at Wooster. The only strange part to Will about being back is seeing the campus looks different and how some theater traditions he used to have back when he was in high school, are either discontinued or unheard of to other students in the production. Harrison agrees with Will in the way that the best part of being back for him is just seeing how people are still excited about the productions at Wooster, especially the techies. For him, the tech and "behind the scenes" work at Wooster holds a special place in his heart. Knowing that people still have the same excitement and enjoyment for that just like he did at that age just makes being back the best for him. The only thing making him feel weird about returning is realizing he is now a part of the faculty and no longer a student. Even though he enjoys being able to see all the rooms he was never able to enter as a student, but, his dream of getting his very own key to the theater is coming true. He can see how far he came knowing that he used to be in the very same shoes as the techies are in now.

Harrison and Will are excited to be back, but the community is even more to have them here. They made the performances back then amazing and having the opportunity for them to do that again now is great for the community. There are many memories to be made for Harrison and Will and we can't wait to make them happen.

About WiNK

WiNK (“Wooster Ink”) is Wooster School’s online student news publication. WiNK serves as the student voice of our community, and provides readers with a weekly overview of what's happening in our students' lives, and it gives students a chance to share their interests and voices. The majority of the content is developed in our Upper School Journalism classes, but we also accept contributions from other students and faculty members.

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