November 27, 2006

Where does the money go, Part III

$200 buys a new saw blade for our "cold saw"” used in metal fabrication. We house a full metal working shop and build many of our structural elements in steel and aluminum. This is often less expensive, stronger, and lighter than using wood. For the Cherry Orchard we are framing the walls in aluminum and skinning them with rigid foam. This wall unit, which is about 47 feet long, 2 1/2 feet deep and 15 feet tall will weigh (finished) about 3000lbs and will fly out overhead about 30 feet above the stage. I just helped our shop foreman move one of these pieces shown. At 12' (l) x 2 1/2' (w) x 15" (h) it was a breeze to move and probably weighed about 100lbs. Once finished and dressed it will be heavier.

$250 buys ten filters for the air cleaning systems in our production shops. The Huntington uses over 250 filters a season to help keep the air our employees breathe clean.

$1000 - The Huntington Production Departments employs over 30 full time technicians and craftspeople a season, plus many part time employees who work on individual shows building as many as nine productions in a season. Production's annual labor budget approaches $1.5 million. $1000 pays an average weeks salary and benefits.
Today in our paint shop leaf stamps (about 20 unique stamps, above) were made to help create the back drop. They also are nearly finished creating the templates (below) for the drops and side tabs. They will lay these underneath the scrim and use them as a pattern. Some of them have been scored and will be laid on top of the muslin, and then "pounced" with charcoal so that a pattern or outline will appear when the template is removed.

$1250 Our Properties craftspeople build some fancy custom fine furniture for our productions at a fraction of retail cost, and we will often re-upholster existing furniture to unify a piece into the show's design. $1250 purchases upholstery fabric and draperies for the style of production typical of The Sisters Rosensweig. Right now they are working on building gravestones (above) for the Cherry Orchard. The forms are first cut and carved to the designers specification, and then will be textured and then painted. All scenic materials are also treated with an appropriate form of fire retardant so that they are safe to use in a place of assembly.

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