Big Red Sports & Arts Profile: Lily Hooge ‘23

  • Performing Arts
Big Red Sports & Arts Profile: Lily Hooge ‘23

By Autri Basu ‘23

Periwig Club Head of Tech Lily Hooge ’23 serves a number of critical roles within the Lawrenceville community, from helping run each week’s School meeting to managing the Kirby Arts Center’s scene shop. As she prepares to graduate and hand her role off to future generations of Lawrentians, she sat down with Big Red Sports & Arts Network Reporter Autri Basu ’23 to celebrate her time backstage.

Lily Hooge ’23 first became involved in technical theater in the fall term of her Second Form year, when she joined the Lifetime Tech Crew co-curricular. She noted that she “just fell in love with it…[she] loved the faculty members, the building, doing carpentry…all of it, and it just really stuck.” Although the pause on Lawrenceville theater during the Covid-19 pandemic largely prevented her from learning key skills from upperclass mentors (something she feels caused her to struggle when she returned to the stage full-time as a Fourth Former) Hooge remained determined to continue her participation so that she could help preserve the “incredibly tight-knit community” that made her fall in love with theater in the first place.

Nowadays, Hooge’s work includes everything from designing the set of this year’s spring play, “Men on Boats,” to assembling tech teams for each of Periwig’s productions and directing Winterfest plays. She finds being a techie an especially valuable experience because of how collaborative the work is; as she noted, “What you’re doing is inherently in service to someone else’s enjoyment. [It could be] to the performer’s performance, [or] you’re doing this to help the faculty members build a set, you’re doing this for the students or faculty watching the performance, everything is for this common goal,” and as a result, she’s learned how to be a good teammate, classmate, and friend along the way.

Reflecting on her favorite moments backstage, Hooge mentioned how “right after the curtain falls [at the end of] the fall musical…it just explodes backstage. Techies and performers run onto stage screaming, laughing, hugging, some people are crying, it’s overwhelming with emotion, noise, and joy. Everyone’s just so in the moment; we’ve done this beautiful, amazing thing, and that’s all that matters.” She advised prospective future techies to “just do it. It’s one of the most beautiful experiences you can have. It’s a community and experience you’ll never forget, and you’ll learn about yourself and others and be a part of something bigger than yourself.”

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.