Tech Week Chronicles: We Have a Show People!

Jennifer Butler

Picture this: it’s the third day of tech week. You are running on hardly any sleep because, not only are you three days away from opening, but you have a job that you have to be at during the day. You are feeling overwhelmed because nothing seems to be going right and as you buy your fourth cup of coffee, you are being hopeful that tonight just might be that early night.

This description was literally me just a few weeks ago, except for the coffee thing because I don’t drink coffee. I felt like every time I crossed something off of my to-do list, I would add three more things on to it. And of course there was nothing that could be done during the run because I was the props master and the props were in use.

So here we are on Wednesday with a Saturday night opening. Being the person that I am, I was hoping for the best of a smooth run and an early night, but was expecting the worst. The run started at 8 and I had already been at the theater for 3 hours. I cracked open a soda and sat back to see how things were going, holding my breath as each prop made its entrance, and was pleased that all went well. At intermission, I discussed with the other designers how well everything seemed to be going but we crossed our fingers that Act II continued to go well. By the end of the run that night, most of the light and sound cues had been programmed as well as the costumes, set, and props having a few minor touch ups. Later that night I questioned things because we were leaving the theater before midnight! “Is this quite possible? Am I forgetting something?”  I was a bit anxious about the details of the show but knew that we still had 2 more tech performances before it was completed in front of an audience.

By day 4 of tech week, things were going even more smoothly. It has only been 24 hours since the massive freak out I had the day before but time makes all the difference. Sometimes you just need a bit more time and though it is the day before final dress rehearsal, I got this feeling in my gut that things were actually going to work out.  I had a moment, when that run was done, that culminated everything after months of hard work, looked at someone who had also been working on the production and uttered the phrase “We have a show, we really have a show.” And now we are more excited than ever for an audience to appear!