Author Topic: Don't Press that Red Button!  (Read 3365 times)

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Don't Press that Red Button!
« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »
(submitted by J. Lada)


My most horrific moment as a Stage Manager came during a sold-out run of a community theatre production of A Chorus Line. 
      The director set the show on a bare stage. No soft goods in at all - the audience could see everything - including me at my
      station stage right. That took some getting used to. The show was chock-a-block full of light cues (almost 200)- a
      challenge to tech & lots of fun to call. One night, during Paul's monologue; one of the 2 sections of the show where we
      were in the same light cue for more than a page (On headset we called this one the cigarette break cue), the house lights
      come up. No cue had been called- I instructed the board op to manually bring down the lights - I confered with my ASM stage
      left; mindful of the fact that the next page of cues was rapidly coming up - we finally figured out that the show had been
      over sold & the House Manager had allowed patrons to sit in folding seats directly below the House panic lights. The
      gentleman sitting there leaned his head against the wall; hitting the panics. I sent my ASM out to instruct the House Manager to remove the
      patrons & the folding seats from the back of the House (in addition to causing me problems - it was a violation of local
      fire code). All taken care of - NO. Of course not. During the section of the show, after Paul's injury, where the dancers
      answer the "what do you do when you can't dance anymore" (the drinks & hors
      d'oeuvres cue to us) up come the House lights again.  I was not a happy SM - I was colorfully
      vacillating from English to French to Italian  as I tried to reach the House
      Manager by telephone. She wouldn't answer - the Producer finally did pick up the lobby phone. I sent him into the House to
      guard the panics. After that, prior to every performance, I personally inspected the House before it opened and strongly
      reminded the House Managers to not seat anyone , anywhere but in a bolted to the floor House seat. 
      Oh yes, the best part of this story is that was the night the local theatre critics & my boss were in the audience.