Author Topic: RUNNING: Backstage Water Hospitality  (Read 2073 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SamanthaR

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Phoenix Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
RUNNING: Backstage Water Hospitality
« on: Jan 04, 2016, 01:54 pm »
Hello All,
Backstage Water Hospitality.  I was Resident SM at a TYA company for years and our cast sizes were typically 8 - 15.  I provided plastic cups that lived on a table right and left with a britta pitcher on each table.  They could also leave a personal water bottle in the position of the cup if they wanted.  This method worked very well.  Cleaning was easy because the theatre had a dishwasher and we washed the cups with the green room coffee cups.

The theatre I am resident at now uses the 3oz dixie cup/igloo pitcher method and this usually works well.  Our cast sizes run between 10 - 35 typically.  Unfortunately, on this last show, the stores that I had previously been able to buy the 330 packs of cups stopped selling them and we were going thru 1000 cups every 2 weeks with a full musical performance schedule.  The cups are bio degradable but those numbers are making me cringe. 

I was curious how other companies handle backstage water hospitality and what has/hasn't worked for you. I have been researching hanging bags and water bottles to replace the one and done cups.

Thanks for the input!

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth
« Last Edit: Jan 21, 2016, 10:13 pm by Maribeth »
wee but mighty

BenTheStageMan

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 55
  • Gender: Male
  • Sometimes all you need in life is a little Blue.
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: Olney Theatre Center, Olney MD
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Backstage Water Hospitality
« Reply #1 on: Jan 04, 2016, 02:09 pm »
I worked at a house with a Britta pitcher and a stack of hard plastic (not disposable) cups on each side of the stage.  We washed the cups each day in the dishwasher.  Actors would often bring up their own water bottles and set them on the water tables.
I know other SM teams taped out water tables like prop tables with labels for each actor so they had their own specific cup or space for their water bottle, but that might be more work than necessary.
Having a stock of reusable plastic cups seems more economical in the long run, but so might saving the dish washing/resetting time by using disposable.  Depends on the financial priorities of the theatre.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"

LexieTaylor

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 47
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: Alum, UW-Whitewater
  • Current Gig: Former SM/Occasional Freelancer
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Backstage Water Hospitality
« Reply #2 on: Jan 04, 2016, 02:10 pm »
We also use the dixie cup method, but most of our dancers bring water bottles and there is a drinking fountain backstage at our theatre.
One stage manager that I worked with took a bin of plastic cups home with her and washed them...that worked well, but you may not be able or willing to do that especially with a large cast.
Have you thought about providing water pitchers but not cups? Each cast member could bring their own cup or water bottle.

I also had a cast once that asked me to provide a sharpie for their styrofoam coffee cups so that they could use them for a while before throwing them away. (one actor kept the same cup for a whole 6 week rehearsal period and 5 week run...to each his own.)

Beatr79

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 119
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
Re: Backstage Water Hospitality
« Reply #3 on: Jan 04, 2016, 02:54 pm »
I've worked in some tight backstage environments on large dance-heavy musicals with casts of 35 or so.  Very typical strategy that I've used and seen is to buy a hanging shoe organizer for each side of the stage, and find a home where they can live, ideally close to either the stage entrances OR the water cooler.  Cast are responsible for setting / refilling their own bottles, and can claim a "slot" in the organizer. 

In addition to the shoe organizer, my theatre provided one-use 3 ounce cups at the coolers.  I think this is the best of many worlds: it encourages an eco-friendly option, while still allowing anyone in the show a chance for a quick drink.  It empowers cast to take responsibility for their own physical needs, and prevents the SM team from gaining additional "clean-up" work. And it's a space-saver: no need for a table surface at all.  I've hung them from the side of prop-shelves, on the side of a backstage call-desk, the back of a dressing room door, and from the piping and infrastructure already present in the theatre. 

SamanthaR

  • New to Town
  • **
  • Posts: 38
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: AEA
  • Current Gig: PSM - Phoenix Theatre
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Backstage Water Hospitality
« Reply #4 on: Jan 04, 2016, 03:17 pm »
@Beatr79
Thanks for this, our backstage is very tight.  I was thinking something along these lines!
wee but mighty

leastlikely

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 137
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: EMC
  • Current Gig: The White Snake - Constellation Theatre Company
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Backstage Water Hospitality
« Reply #5 on: Jan 07, 2016, 10:58 am »
I've done the paper cup method and set a sharpie at the water stations. Everyone writes their name/initials on their cup, and during post-show I'll just pour out any remaining water and put the cups back at the station, unless it is not able to be reused (dirty/soggy/crumpled). If a cup doesn't get super gross it can totally last a week. Then I toss them all on Sunday night and start fresh next week.

I've also used a hanging shoe organizer with labels on the pockets. You can encourage actors to provide their own reusable bottles to go in the pockets, or provide regular storebought 16.9oz plastic bottles with labels. You can refill the bottles daily, and replace them if they get gross (covered in lipstick, etc)

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
17 Replies
7164 Views
Last post May 25, 2006, 06:56 pm
by centaura
2 Replies
1746 Views
Last post Feb 04, 2010, 12:44 am
by stagegal1
20 Replies
5979 Views
Last post Mar 22, 2013, 03:12 am
by LCSM