Day 11: Saturday, October 28th
Today is lighting focus and dry tech. Lighting designer Dennis Parichy joins our crew first thing in the morning to set all of the lighting. Each of our shows will have 200-400 individual lighting instruments. They all need to be pointed to a specific spot on the stage, and then shaped, and then colored. Some of them project a pattern. This one's pretty easy, as there is not much square footage to light, and because of the configuration of the set, not a lot of places to put lights. We get it all done, except for a few items because we aren't able to move the wagons.
It's raining. Hard and fast. Our Huntington Avenue digs have a tendency to drip, flood, and spout water in the oddest of places when it rains a lot. Saturday was one of those days. I usually get to take this day off, but my computer at home was down and we were going to do a short dry tech that evening, so I came in before lunch to get some work done (mostly to catch up on this blog). I walked in, and soon everyone was telling me to go find the janitor who had been looking for me. Water in the basement. Our most flood prone area is our call center, in the basement of 252 Huntington, where the box office call center, offices, and telemarketing is run from (this is also where the phone rings if you call BostonTheatreScene.com).
The toilets are overflowing... a sewer backup. I head to the back of the building where there is a minor flood in the telephone equipment room. We learned a long time ago to get the equipment well off the floor, so no damage here. In another room there is the cutest little fountian of water spouting out of the floor like a drinking fountain. It's 18" from the sump pump, thankfully providing a needed laugh. The plumber is just arriving. Ronny is moving the hose of a wet vac from toilet to toilet. Another sump is now draining the phone equipment room. Everything here is relatively under control.
I check a few other of our basements and then go to my office to alert the staff not to use the plumbing in the 252 building. No other visible problems. It's calm again.
Then I head back to the stage, and the stage carp is rushing to cover our brand new automation system with plastic. A roof drain pipe has sprung a leak and is showering down on the computer, monitors and control equipment. Lovely. A small cascade coming down the wall four stories from the roof to the basement. Not nearly as cute as the little fountain in the basement. The crew rushes to move the equipment to a safer location, and the thousands of feet of control wiring is relocated. Hence the wagons not being able to move for focus.
The happy end to the day is that all is back up and running an hour before the evening's dry tech is to begin. Dry tech is where we essentially set the scene shifts and practice them without the actors. There is not a lot of furniture moving around in this show, just the wagons, the house curtain, and and some black out panels. Since the major moves are already pre-programmed we complete the Dry tech in a record 27 minutes. That's 6 shifts. We had allotted three hours. Not bad! See you at tech!
I'm still having troubles uploading photos to the blog... found a few beautiful ones of a rainy day in Boston here