Ferrysburg man behind ‘Phantom’ set building

Staircases move up and down. A man hangs from the rafters. A glass chandelier glides across the auditorium. "The special effects in this play top everything we've ever done at Grand Haven High School,' said set designer Steve Wozniak, as he took a break at his Ferrysburg home recently before the final rehearsals for "Phantom of the Opera.'
Becky Vargo
Nov 18, 2011

 

The play opened Nov. 10 at the school’s Performing Arts Center. It continues with shows at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“There’s still a few tickets left,” Wozniak said. “The auditorium has been almost full each night and the kids are doing great.”

Standing well above 6 feet, the gruff-looking man seems more like a gentle teddy bear as he talks about the students and the play.

“I love working with the kids,” he said.

Wozniak has been a force in set design and construction since his daughter, Caitlin, played the lead in Grand Haven High School’s “Bye, Bye Birdie” in March 2007. Caitlin is now a graduate student at Marquette University and her father is still building sets 15 shows later.

Wozniak, a recently retired manufacturing engineer, was looking for something to do with his free time when his daughter got the part in the play.

“I asked her if she minded if I helped out,” he said. “She thought it was great.”

Wozniak said his wife, Jeanette, didn’t mind getting him out of the house either.

“They (director Rita McClary and her husband, David) liked my work so well, that the next year they asked me to be the build coordinator,” Wozniak said.

His job isn’t just to build the sets himself, it’s also to coordinate his student staff.

“This year I have 15 kids working backstage,” Wozniak said.

The actors also are required to help with the sets.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

 

Post a Comment

Log in to your account to post comments here and on other stories, galleries and polls. Share your thoughts and reply to comments posted by others. Don't have an account on GrandHavenTribune.com? Create a new account today to get started.