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This page is an extention of Accidents. It shows that if something that can go wrong, it will.


I am the set designer at the Army Community Theatre. We built a set for Showboat. It was so damn big you wouldn't believe. At the first few production meetings, the set designer kept repeating to the director "no <people of mass> on the second level!!!!" Did she listen? No... First dress rehearsal, the floor flexed and almost gave way.

Another incident, same show. I was backstage, during a scene change, the "Face" of the boat moved offstage, half stage left and half stage right. Then the auditorium was "supposed" to move forward. Well, you must understand, our sets are designed by one man, then built by rapists, murderers and wife beaters. Not my first choice when I think of crew. Anyway, the castors broke, about 5 if I remember right, just snapped off, under the 1000 lb platform. Well the entire crew went gung ho and we pushed it right to it's spike mark. We shaved a few layers of wood off of the stage, but who cares, the show must go on right. Needless to say, after this show backstage I went to my true passion, lights.

Elan Ruskin <> offered me the following story:

This is a description of an actual event that occurred during a dress rehearsal of "Twelfth Night" about six years ago. Back then, our theatre used a real relic of a dimmer board, this enourmous multilevered thing that required about four contortionists to operate. About halfway through the first act...
Production Electrician: Ok, I'll do dimmers 1-20. You <points> do 21-40, you <points> get 41-60, and we'll sort of fudge 61-80, depending on where we are.
Asst. Electrician #3: What do I do?
ME: If the stage catches fire, turn off the circuit breakers.
(forty minutes later)
PE (into headset): Ok, standing by. uh... Jenn [the SM]... there's this really strange sort of buzzing-humming noise coming from the board. Wait, it just stopped. All right, I suppose, never mind.
AE 1: Wonder what it was.
AE 2: Probably just a dirty contact or something.
PE: Guys, I told you, _no smoking backstage_.
AE 2: Who's smoking?
PE: I thought I smelled... oh, sh--! (into headset) JENN! The board is producing smoke! Kill the power and let's get out of here.
(AE 1 & 2 evacuate.)
AE 3 (waking from a doze): That's odd. It smells like Chanukah back here.

From: Nick Munro <>
The following stories are second hand, but are confirmed as true, and he has admitted to these crimes. No names have been changed, because we're never going to let him forget this.
A couple of years ago, the Mercury Theatre in Colchester took on a YT (youth trainee, or intern, if you want.) This blonde individual, by the name of Andy, was keen and learned many things. Sadly, he fouled up all too frequently.
But Jim, the head of LX was patient, recalling his own training, and made Andy do all the colour calls, and rig the festoons round the roof at Christmas, as he had done himself all those years ago. This made our poor Andy very tired, especially as he still had some blood in his caffeine stream.
One night, he was caught putting a par bulb in *backwards*. From then on, the riggers asked for "a piece of 180 for a backward parcan," congratulating Andy on his gel-saving idea, and asking if they put the batteries in their Maglite backwards, would the light come out the other end. Eventually, Andy tired of this, telling everybody to f*** off. The head of LX, in his wisdom, asked everyone to lay off the poor lad, then turned to him, and said;
"Never mind Andy, I think the sun shines out of your *mouth*."
The same Andy, seconded to Stage Damagement to fly a chair in and out on a crank handle, got his cans lead tangled round the handle, suspending the actor in the chair 10 or so feet above the stage. The reason? He had gotten bored, and had made the handle pretty by winding several colours of PVC tape round it and his lead.
Andy has since qualified as an electrician, and doesn't do that sort of thing any more. He does however, break follow spots by "adjusting" the height of the stand while the spot is on. For "adjust", read "drop".

Originally from OnStage! at - Mirrored at