Behind the Scenes from the 9-News Debate at McAuliffe


Kathryn Ball, Author

On the night of March 14, 2023, 9-News hosted the debate for 11 out of 17 candidates who are running for Denver Mayor at McAuliffe International School and televised it live on Channel 20 so that people would be more informed. McAuliffe was packed with every seat in the auditorium filled, and as of March 14 around 1:40, views would likely range in the thousands.  

When our ⅚ class went down to the auditorium (where it was being hosted) around 1:30 PM, there were cameras everywhere. Seven to be exact! The stage was covered in ladders, carts, tools, lights, and guys setting things up, and preparing for the debate. When we asked why they needed so many lights, Ian McRae, who is in charge of making sure everybody has what they need, said “Theater lights are very different from TV lights. Lights go at different temperatures. For the TV, you want to try and get the exact same color, so that’s why we have so many. The blue lights on the sides of the room are there to just kinda light up the room and give it some more depth, or texture.” It took them all day to prepare the stage for the debate. McRae reported that they would be there from 8:00 AM until it was time to air. 

Right by the North Gym, they had about 4 or 5 carts full of equipment and monitors. One guy was working on the camera and another was working off the lights, giving them names like Stage Left and Stage Right. They also had a“seating chart” which had the candidates’ names, pictures, and where they were on the stage. McRae called it a “cheat sheet”. They also had a lot of snacks! Lucky! They had granola bars, candy, RedVines, and more. There were also a couple of Jimmy John’s sandwiches and lots of water. 

As a thank you, 9-news donated $1,000 to the school!