After more than 20 years, auditorium technical director retires

Tom Kjera. (Photo by Pam Foreman/KMXT)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak high school facilities technician is retiring.

“I’m a lighting guy, an audio guy and a stage rigger.”

Tom Kjera says he’s been the auditorium technical director for roughly 24 years and originally moved to Kodiak for the job.

“When they built the auditorium, they really required a person such as me to keep track of things, so there’s just a lot of little things to keep track of.”

Kjera is the go-to man when it comes to preparing for guest performers who need the stage.

“So, with a large dance troupe or something like that coming in, that would be an all day, 16 hour day practically, so you end up starting in the morning with a focus call, and you’d focus all the lights.”

Then there’s testing the lights, rehearsals, and the clean-up after the performance.

Kjera says he’s been doing stage work since he was in high school. He went to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where he worked on theater, and then got a job as a technical director.

He says the job has stayed interesting day to day throughout the time he’s been Kodiak’s technical director.

“No two shows are the same and no two artists are the same, so you’re always working with somebody different, something new, each and every time practically, and you’re always learning.”

Kjera is wrapping up his time at the high school after his more than twenty years there. He’s currently training his replacement, former school district administrative assistant Wes Hanna.

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