If you've seen a performance at Memorial Opera House within the last eight years, you've seen the work of Scott "Stretch" Miller in every sound effect, lighting adjustment, and set construction. For nearly a decade, Miller has been the man behind the magic at Memorial Opera House as Technical Director.
“I love everything about my job,” Miller said. “From recording sound effects, building sets, helping with lighting, projection, special effects, teaching a class for our kids with the Limelight program… the list goes on and on. Each aspect comes with its unique challenges but they are all fun in their own way.”
“Building relationships with regular audience members also ranks at the top, but I guess the best part of what I do is having sold out shows and a standing ovation. The energy from that can be overwhelming,” Miller continued. “There are so many moving parts in musical productions. Making sure everything is working smoothly and safely keeps you on your toes.”
Miller first took an interest in the art of production during jam sessions with his uncle’s band growing up.
“When I was around 10, my uncle was in a band and he would take me to practice all the time. I never really had the urge to play an instrument, but was intrigued by the lighting and sound side of things,” Miller said. “When I got a little older I started working with local bands and learning as much as I could. Eventually I started working for a local lighting company and ran around lighting national music acts.”
Through his years in tech and theater, Miller has forged countless relationships with coworkers, performers, and volunteers, each one teaching him something new about the craft.
“I have in some way learned something from just about everyone I’ve met,” Miller said. “Everyone brings their own expertise to the table. In the last eight years I have learned an unbelievable amount of things from every aspect of live theater.”
Miller’s passion for his career shines through in everything he does at Memorial Opera House, and he encourages others in the industry to continue expanding their knowledge and never stop developing their skills.
“My advice would be to learn as much as you can about live theater,” Miller said. “Being a technical director, you pretty much have your hands in every part of a production in some way or another. Having as much knowledge about all the areas of technical theater along with all the equipment that comes along with it is what makes someone successful in that role.”
Outside of bringing a production to life, Miller enjoys spending time with his wife Denise, his family, and his dogs.
“I also enjoy hiking and being around wildlife, photography, bowling, and fishing, but my favorite place to be is sitting behind my board lost in a production,” Miller said. “We spend so much time in the theater it’s truly our second home, and depending on the schedule, sometimes our first. If we didn’t love what we do, we wouldn’t be here.”
Miller certainly plays an important role in making Memorial Opera House the incredible entertainment hub that it is, but acknowledges that his work would not be nearly as effective without the contributions of his coworkers.
“I’m a small part of what goes into these productions,” Miller said. “It takes an awesome team to put out the quality content that we offer to our community and I believe we have found that at the Opera House.”
While productions at Memorial Opera House are postponed due to covid, Miller and the entire staff are eager to return. Rest assured he will be there behind the scenes bringing life to the stage as soon as safety allows it.
“I know I can speak for us all when I say that we are all wanting to come back and bring you some great entertainment as soon as we can, in a safe manner,” Miller said. “Most of us went from 60+ hour weeks to nothing. It’s a rough adjustment, and I know we all can’t wait to come back.”