A Day on the Road With Celtic Throne

OKLAHOMA—The Philadelphia Church of God’s Irish dance production Celtic Throne held its third summer tour from June 6 to July 10, with about 60 cast and crew performing the show for hundreds of concertgoers at eight cities in seven states. How did it all come together each night? Here is a look behind the scenes.

The Day Before

Setting up the stage

The tour’s backstage crew arrives at the venue the day prior to the show, delivering costumes, audio and video equipment, set pieces and flooring, fog and haze machines, and coordinating with venue staff so that the stage is ready for the 38 performers who are on their way. Part of stage setup includes rolling out the black Marley dance flooring.

Taping down the Marley

After rolling out the thick black vinyl flooring, crews tape it into place with gaffer tape. The stage is then ready for the crew members to place the throne, stairs, bandstand, and the fog and haze machines.

Hanging lights

The lighting rig is lowered to the stage, and lighting crew members hang stage lights in specific positions. The rig is raised into position, and the crew checks that the lights are positioned and programmed correctly. Each theater is different, so adjustments must be made for each location.

Sound Booth Prep

The sound crew connects its wireless technology to the venue’s systems, finding open frequencies, positioning and connecting monitors and coordinating the time code on the playback laptop with the lighting console.

The Show Day

Pre-practice ‘Confab’

Dancers arrive at the theater at around 1 p.m. and meet onstage for a discussion about the practice schedule for the afternoon and any adjustments that need to be made for the theater.

Cyclorama Setup

In order to project a bright image onto the cyclorama, two projectors are needed. Once the projectors are hung, the backstage crew aligns the two images to make them clear.

Light Programming

The lighting crew spends the show day going through all the lighting cues for the 90-minute performance to make sure they are programmed correctly for the particular theater.


The dancers stretch and warm up on the stage prior to the afternoon practice.


Dancers review dance numbers from 2 to 5 p.m. and sometimes adjust their locations if necessary due to differences in stage dimensions.

Prop Setup

Mom volunteers place the props for the show on a table backstage. Most are for “Empire,” alongside streamers for “Farewell.”

Dressing Room Setup

Mom volunteers spend the afternoon unpacking costumes from their boxes and hanging them on racks at the dressing rooms, grouped by dancer and arranged in order of their dances. The stage crew sets up a quick-change room backstage for those with quick transitions between dances.