Time out for Tech

It is the season of the relentless techs. We are four shows into the parade of eight fall semester shows which means that we are teching every weekend. It is extremely different to be in tech as a production manager than it was as a stage manager. I am very peripheral to the process as the PM; I get to bring donuts and make people happy at the beginning of the 10 out of 12.

I also get to take the set designer down to the props storage to pull dressing for the set, and occasionally get to swing away from campus to pick up the errant prop (though these ventures are much less necessary since the arrival of “Speak-the-truth-Hannah,” who is so superb at her job as Props Manager.

Last weekend was Brian Friel’s “Dancing at Lughnasa.” This weekend is a new play by EM Lewis called “Infinite Black Suitcase.” Next weekend we will spend supporting Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan.” What tech now allows me to do is to observe the directors. To take note of things with a directorial eye, and to write them down, and if I am feeling bold, to send them to the director to do with what he/she will. Some directors are grateful for my notes; some do not mention them at all, but I will notice one of them having been inserted into the production when I come back to see a performance. It strokes my ego.

Makes me feel useful. But the main thing I feel during the tech season is tired. Just want to lay down and sleep for 10 hours. But it isn’t possible. So I rise and shine and buy the donuts and sit and observe. Time out for tech.

My long suffering husband waits for me at home. Saturday I am exhausted.

Sunday, after tech and a strike of the previous show’s set, we go out for dinner – always to CPK. It is a tradition now, one that began about 8 years ago when I joined the school’s production department. Strike pizza. Some couples call it date night, but for us, it is just an hour stolen from tech time to catch up and remember our lives together. To hoot in support of our team on the TV over the counter in the CPK.

So I am off to bed to sleep for 6 hours or so before the hummingbirds get up and so do I.

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