By Luca Gross
SUNY Plattsburgh junior Kaleb Pecoraro is turning his dreams into a reality with the Theatrical Production & Technology Certificate program.
Pecoraro has been doing theater production for about seven years, starting in his freshman year of high school.
“In high school all my friends were in drama club, so I said I would join too,” Pecoraro said. “I did spotlight for my first year I was there and I loved it. It was really fun.”
The summer after his first year working in theater production, he was suggested to the Adirondack Regional Theatre Group by his drama teacher.
“In my sophomore year, I worked with the sound guy that we hired for the high school,” Pecoraro said. “I worked with him on the audio for my sophomore year’s production. Since then, I’ve just been hooked on it.”
Pecoraro graduated from Clinton Community College with an associate degree in mechanical technology. He is incorporating the skills he acquired during his time there to elevate his work in the program here.
Pecoraro is more focused on the technical aspects of theater production. The program allows him the opportunity to learn that more in depth.
“Instead of being a full theater major, where I would have to take acting classes and stuff like that, it’s more focused on the technical side,” Pecoraro said. “So, I’m doing classes where I’m working in the shop, as well as working on all the productions. It’s more of a stripped down theater major, kind of, it’s focused on tech.”
Pecoraro’s efforts in the program are centered around lighting and sound design, including making sure the equipment is set up and prepared for a show. Pecoraro has not designed any lighting for a show just yet, however, Pecoraro will be designing the lighting for an upcoming show, “Nefarious,” a play by Kristen Ritter, about a superhero academy.
In the fall of 2021, Pecoraro’s previous work on “Our Town,” a play by Thorton Wilder, has garnered him some recognition. He worked on the sound design for the show.
“I came into the show pretty late,” Pecoraro said. “So I was kind of told what sound files were needed, but it was a pretty heavy show with the music and stuff. Whenever they were introducing characters towards the beginning of the show, each character had a sitcom theme song that played along with it. One of the mothers, when she came on, ‘Good Times’ played. I don’t know what show it’s from, but it’s just the one that always sticks in my brain because it haunts my dreams.”
Pecoraro’s work won him an award with the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. As Pecoraro said, “Our Town” was a very sound-intensive show. This gave Pecoraro a very particular problem for which he designed a very particular solution.
“The main highlight was that I created and 3D printed a little control box to control the software on the computer,” Pecoraro said. “The directors were just going to have Spotify open and click on the files as they needed it. But, I was worried about internet connections and what if Spotify messes up? What if something happens, and all of a sudden Spotify is asking if we want a break from the ads? I didn’t want that to happen.”
Pecoraro took what he previously learned in his time with the Adirondack Regional Theatre Group, and what he had learned with his mechanical technology degree to create the control system for the music.
“I was able to load in the sound files the directors wanted and easily control with this little control box I made, which just had four buttons, which were play, fade, stop and advance to the next song in the queue,” Pecoraro said.
Pecoraro appreciates the work that he puts into the program as well as the productions thus far. A passion he has had for about seven years, he sees no end in sight. He wants to continue to learn and grow.