What a great two days! The first semi pulled in to the Auditorium Theatre at 8am yesterday morning. I was still very tired, but woke up very quickly when I saw the driver of the truck back into the loading dock, after crossing both lanes of Michigan Avenue. He did this with ease, much easier than I could have done parallel parking a compact car.And so began the Advance Load in for MONTY PYTHON’s SPAMALOT. Crew and Teamsters went to work unloading the truck. The purpose of the advance load in is to prep the theatre for all the flurry of activity that begins when the clock strikes 1:00pm for Load-In!
Though the trucks are just now arriving in Chicago with the set, many months of preparation have brought us to this point. Countless phone calls, emails and faxes have been made to make sure everything was ready when the trucks rolled in to our city. It is definitely an exciting opportunity to welcome the show to Chicago for the third time! To see the set come off the truck in pieces and to meet face to face with the folks that have been on the other end of those calls, emails and faxes helps bring a sense that it’s really happening – almost the excitement of live theatre.
Monday was spent mostly unloading the semi trucks: set, road boxes that contain equipment, office supplies for Company Management, wardrobe and everything else the show needs to travel from city to city. Teamsters and stage crew unload the truck and begin to set it up on stage and in the various offices. Stage management also arrived to get a lay of the backstage land – decided where to put hair, wardrobe, actors, etc. The flurry of energy in the building is invigorating.
While the stagehands continued to set up the stage, the rest of the Production staff were busy ensuring that things were going as planned: coordinating deliveries of show supplies; tracking Fed Ex boxes; making sure flowers were delivered to the appropriate cast member. All of this activity because the show has its first performance tonight. By 3pm things were mostly set; just in time for actors to do a quick rehearsal on stage. While normally a rehearsal would not be done, today is the first day for one of the cast members.
When the members of the audience begin to fill the house, many people are already tired from two days of work. Those people are just a few of the folks that work very hard to bring shows to the audiences of Chicago and audiences all over. While I am sure it is tiring, and sometimes stressful, I am relatively certain if I went and asked anyone if it was worth it, I am sure I would get the same response, “Without a doubt.”
-Brad, Operations Associate