The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

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The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

The news site of Glenbrook South High School.

The Oracle

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Spotlight on Winship

The man behind the scenes

In 1980, South’s Norman E. Watson Auditorium was a much different place than it is today. Only about 30 lights had illuminated the stage and set pieces were built beneath the stage, where the current costume shop lives. Now, the stage contains about 300 lights, a movable orchestra pit, a scene shop, and one man in charge of it all: Auditorium Manager Rich Winship.

Winship was hired at South in the summer of 1980 by former Principal Dr. William Schreiner. Winship knew people at South through his work at Country Club Theatre in Mount Prospect. Because of his connections, in 1979, he was invited to observe Variety Show (V-Show) auditions where he was offered a chance to redesign the set. His idea received a warm welcome from Schreiner and was chosen for the job.

“In [the] theater [industry], you make connections with people,” Winship said. “The old saying, ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,’ in [my] case, [was] true.”

A year later, in June 1980, Winship was searching for a job when he was offered a position at South. There he has stayed for 43 years and counting, producing numerous plays, musicals, and V-Shows, in addition to being the head of the stage crew.

Freshman Macie Weinberger, stage crew member, has learned many new skills from Winship in her first few months, she said. Winship employs a more interactive teaching style, she added.

“[Winship runs crew as] less of a teacher and more of a mentor,” Weinberger said. “Instead of just teaching us information, he is actively showing us how to use different tools.”

Winship’s work ethic and energy are reciprocated by crew members, junior Payton Macasieb, stage crew member, said. Even though Winship’s relaxed energy makes conversations and connections form naturally, he still expects a lot from students, Macasieb added.

The pressure that comes with being in charge of the auditorium productions is not lost on Winship. The high expectations of South’s theater department fuel him to present exceptional sets and shows, he added.

“I would be embarrassed to put something on stage that was not the highest quality [it could be],” Winship said.

In her freshman year, junior Amy Schmidt, stage crew member, timidly entered the doors of the scene shop looking for a ‘Mr. Winship.’ Shortly after, Winship welcomed her to stage crew and corrected her to call him ‘Rich,’ instead, like the rest of stage crew. With his caring demeanor, the camaraderie between them and the positive environment of stage crew grew.

“[Winship] is super compassionate [and] friendly,” Schmidt said. “[He is] hard-working [and] puts in so many hours to make [shows] that the whole school can be proud of.”

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