Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Turning techie

I like a challenge.  Really I do.  So, when I was asked to stage manage our local operatic society's production of Oklahoma! of course I said "yes".

It's a great show.  It has a wonderful cast -  one is a dear friend without whom my life would feel darker and several who I'd invite to dinner.  My husband is conducting it, my son is performing (as a cowboy, as a break from exam fever) and the director is the sweetest lady you will ever meet.

Yesterday at 6.30pm I wished all 32+ of them at the bottom of the sea as my gallant band of grizzled stage crew finally managed to ease away the last bit of set and the last prop.  Just in time for them to arrive and start USING the set.  How dare they?  Excuse me, this set is BEAUTIFUL.  Every prop has a HOME.  Everything has a place and there are good access points with no issues obstructing fire exits.  Now just all go away and let the crew and I enjoy ourselves moving it around in peace.

I've turned into a Techie. Worse, I've turned into a techie with the temper of a disgruntled troll and a shout that breaks lightbulbs.

Techies are a unique theatre breed.  If you want lighting, sound, set, stuff flying in, access to the broom cupboard, lightbulbs changing or anything of a practical nature done, you need a techie.  Generally they have a low opinion of actors because these only serve to clutter up their stage.  They're often not that keen on directors either - as who would be if you'd been up til midnight hanging a cloth only for them to swan in the next morning and insist that it needs to be moved.  I speak as a director who has done just that.  I was one last week.  How times change.

Last night was the Tech run. Our run.  The techie version of heaven when if any one of us raises a finger, the show stops while we mutter in corners and make infintesimal changes to the gaffer tape markings.  This is in direct contrast to our normal role which is to make sure the show stops for nothing bar fire or death.

Waving wheat in Oklahoma.  It sure smells sweet.
All this is a long-winded way of saying I spent yesterday squeezing the glorious open plains of Oklahoma into what is basically a big shoebox with no wing-space.  We did it.  Dress rehearsal tonight and then the show is mine all mine.  Never mind that the director has been slaving over this thing since February.  The stage manager is god when a show goes up.  Can't wait.

Just don't touch my wagon.


  1. Letting the power go to one's head is not a good idea, God or no God ;)

    1. To be honest, it's quite busy I've got no time to gloat, which is just as well :)

  2. Replies
    1. Went very well, so even with the last minute decision to remove a large wagon, I think we're fine. Best stage crew ever.

  3. Yer makin' me miss everything.

    Btw, for thee.

    1. You now owe me a keyboard. Making me laugh like that with coffee in hand.

  4. "Oh what a beautiful morning,
    Oh what a beautiful day,
    I've got a wonderful feeling,
    Everything's going my way."

    That is a nice show.

    1. It is. I'd love to direct it sometime, but circumstances keep conspiring against me.

  5. Hi Amanda .. out of one frying pan into another .. but it sounds like the Siren Stage Manager is around!! Just have fun and great that your hubby and son are involved too .. beans on toast for the next while then?!

    Have fun - cheers and I love that wheatfield picture .. Hilary