Voghell back to work after stage injury

Chad Voghell, technical director at Castleton State College’s Casella Theatre, returned to work Friday after four days in the hospital and three and a half weeks recovering at home from an accident on the stage of the theater. Voghell was injured early last month after asking alumni Sarah Allen to help him for a day of focusing numerous lights for the Castleton performance of Man of La Mancha. Voghell’s wife, Jennifer, was running the light board and watched as the lift holding Allen began to fall over.

“When it tipped over I was shocked, my first reaction was to try and stop it, I put up my hands and when I realized it wasn’t stopping I turned to run,” Voghell said.

The lift clipped Voghell on the shoulder pushing him to the floor, resulting in two broken ribs and a bruised right lung.

“I was extremely lucky. Had I been on the ground when the lift hit me or had it hit six inches in either direction on my back, there’s a really good chance I wouldn’t be writing this to you now,” Voghell said in an e-mail.

Stagecraft One class members pulled the lift off Voghell and he rolled out. Allen was not hurt and Voghell said she did exactly what she was supposed to do, which is tuck into the basket as it fell.

“Broken ribs are painful, it was three weeks before I could drive again, almost a week before I could even stand on my own power,” said Voghell. “It will be a couple of months before I’ll be able to do much physical labor in regards to my position here at Castleton. I will need my crew more than ever.”

Voghell’s assistant, Jessica Ryan-Leblanc, took over for Voghell for the month he was gone while still attending a full load of classes.

“I am happy to be back and can’t wait to get back into the swing of things,” Voghell said.

While he was out of work, he said numerous other students stepped up to help out in the department to be sure events ran smoothly. Craig Mowery, who has been professionally working in technical theater since graduating in 2002 from Castleton, was hired to help with the Soundings event showing of Koresh Dance Company.

“I received a lot of support from my colleagues at Castleton. Cards, gifts, phone calls were in abundance and I never felt more like a part of a family,” Voghell said.

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