Monday, March 5, 2012

What's On the Menu

March is here. I can't believe that it is already March! Even with leap year, February just flew by. We were able to get a good handle on things during February for Little Women. But I still have a lot to accomplish this month. Here are some tasks at the top of my list:

1. Redo ticket forms, guidelines, and sales competition rules
2. Meet with tailor for second round of fittings
3. Pick-up backdrop
4. Wall paper sets
5. Start gathering props
6. Problem solve wig fiasco
7. Wash old costumes and box them up (never had time for this before)
8. Organize prop room
9. Acquire more storage space
10. Get sets moved back upstairs from the dungeon
11. Gather cast bio info for programs
12. Take pics for program
13. Write director's note for program
14. Gather scene synopsis, thank you notes, congrat ads, etc. for program
15. Start rehearsing off-book
16. Start coordinating with the parent volunteers
17. Open the box office

Two weeks ago, when we bought the Little Women couch, I noticed that all of our sets had been moved. We have collected quite a few pieces in the past two years:

7 trees
4 stockade walls
4 house walls
2 doors
5 extensions
1 window
1 bed
5 railings
2 sets of stairs
stools, chests, helm, screens, etc....

We had put them all in a vacant closet in the auditorium lobby. No one was using it, and it makes sense for the drama department to have storage space in the auditorium. We went to add the couch to our trove, and discovered that everything had been the dungeon. Without even a, "hey, we moved your stuff downstairs" from the doers of this deed--let alone a request. Apparently, this storage closet was seen as the perfect place for drivers who weren't driving to take naps and watch tv. Grrr....

For lack of better terminology, the dungeon is a basement beneath the auditorium and multi-purpose room. It has a ramp that goes below, so it could be used as a parking facility, probably. It is dark (no lighting), it is dank, it is infested with fleas. It is the current school dump. Whenever something breaks, doesn't need to be used any longer, or is in of repair--it finds its way to the dungeon. You can find book shelves, couches, tables, washing machines, air conditioner units, tools, boxes of stuff that no one wants, garbage, tools, chairs, old art, ping pong tables, play ground equipment, saw horses, bed frames, mattresses, refrigerators, ovens, toilets, bath tubs, head boards, desks...To say it is a mess is an understatement. It's a dump, literally, a dump. But it's in a basement. Think of a dump in your basement, and you will start to understand the problems of storing things down there. The layers of dirt, rodents, fleas, mildew....Not to mention the disrepair things fall into from being beat up, pushed around, and piled on top of down there.

It is to my absolute HORROR, that I learned my precious sets had been moved down there, without even a by-the by, to be ruined. Now, to the average maintenance worker, I'm sure they assume our sets are junk. They might look like junk, and in fact, sometimes it IS junk that has been repurposed. But to the drama department, these are treasures. And the money that was used to pay for these items was an investment. Many of the items were paid for by myself before we had a drama budget. Many of the things were made with a plan for them to be used more than once. It's simply bad stewardship to throw them into the dungeon.

My number one goal for this month is to find a better place for them to be stored, and to get them to that better place as soon as possible! I often meet opposition for certain staff members who don't understand what theater is (never seen a show) and really place little value in everything associated with it. It's often a head-to-head battle that needs to be fought and I get very anxious about confrontations. The most frustrating thing is that there are about 9 small-large sized closets in the auditorium. Only ONE is assigned to theater. There is one for the choir, and then the rest belong to school drivers or PE. I see this as a huge injustice. But maybe I'm just being dramatic. Our principal has assured me that this removal of sets was down without his knowledge and that they can be moved into a neighboring room on the ground floor. It's difficult to rehearse when you're somewhat cumbersome sets have been moved to an almost impossible location, how are we supposed to get them for rehearsals? I haven't ventured down to the dungeon yet. I'm terrified that everything has been ruined or lost.

The loss of ignorance is terrifying.


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