Sunday, October 31, 2004

Dear Hardwareman

Everyone has read Kevin's Dear Hardwareman columns in the ghetto hallway. Today, in an attempt at relaxation, I wrote my own. See below:

Dear Hardwareman,

I have recently been assigned to be a mainstage TD in a Conservatory theater program. Do you have any sage advice?


Dear Anon,

Hardwareman was last seen heading into an all-day faculty meeting with only a stack of square paper. In his absence, we put this together:

  1. Run everything by your advisor, that’s why you have one.
  2. If you want a tool that you can’t find in the tool room, ask the shop supervisor, he will want to buy it.
  3. You can’t buy your crew beer on the show budget. But you can buy them bagels and coffee.
  4. When Kevin said that steel was lighter, he was right.
  5. The ME is a quiet lighting designer, you will probably step on her toes. You should watch for her feet, but in the end, it is her job to say “ow, get off” when you do.
  6. The overhire carpenter isn’t necessarily any more skilled than a sophomore with a work ethic.
  7. Put in your requests for specific crew as soon as the list is available.
  8. Every crew has some smart actors, find them, they’re your ace in the hole.
  9. Do NOT overthink on the shop floor. Build what you drew. At least then you can track back the problems.
  10. Your designer will always question your estimate. Only give them a summary sheet.
  11. Publish your lineset schedule early.
  12. Paints will always be behind. Don’t be the cause of it.
  13. Talk to your PM. If you don’t, they will think you are hiding something. And then you have to have nightly meetings. No one wants that. Not even the Production Manager, they have to stay at school later.
  14. Your designer’s advisor just might become your favorite person.
  15. Have your own workspace away from others on the same show.
  16. Be the good cop.
  17. When David suggests something, it is not a suggestion.
  18. Your labor numbers will get doubled. Deal with it. Then you’ll have time for pre-rig, dry-fit and getting stuff back from paints.
  19. Build during build, install during install, do notes during tech, catch up on homework during the run of the show.
  20. Remember, its just a school play.

Friday, October 29, 2004

its almost theater

What we did:
  • The escape stairs are up.
  • The escape railings are drawn and in-process.
  • The door groove was omitted. We need to fix this on monday, before it gets painted. No big deal... shannon caught it from the design drawings, I'll have Avery do it before crew.
  • The second railing pieces were cut.
  • All of the aluminum was cleaned per Ben Carter's direction.
  • The Cut Black Drop is cut. And very neatly folded like a drop, in a box and stored in PTM, far, far away from the forces of evil that might damage it.
  • The Gauze Hanger is fully pre-rigged (tie lines attached in the grommets) and stored in StuTech, under my desk, in a bag
  • The lower stairs are assembled as stairs. We need more 3/8 MDF

Monday's plan:

  • 9am: order more materials with Kevin's card.
  • 1pm: Tech Design
  • 1:30 pm: Avery starts work on finishing the lower stairs
  • 5:30 pm: Avery goes on Dinner Break
  • 6:30 pm: Crew and Avery start work
  • Avery works on jigging up the second railing
  • Shannon +2 pre-rig Wall C
  • Michelle +1 works on Facing
  • Sarah +1 works on Kick blocks
  • Escape railing is in a holding pattern

The Weekend Plan:

  • Sleep in tomorrow.
  • Finish all drawing and tech design for the show.
  • Have a "materials to order" list ready for Monday morning.
  • Go to the Evaline party Saturday night.
  • Eat lunch at Uncle Sam's on Sunday
  • Do laundry
  • Do some homework for Kevin's classes.

Yay! for being done with this before midnight.

Love, Katy

Thursday, October 28, 2004

I've had better days

  • Harumi updated the Quantity Take Off, thus giving us a dollars budget projection
  • Nick and I discussed the aluminum angle on the railing and the reason why it might not be acceptable to just paint it to match. He has also put another idea on the table. I will be looking at it further.
  • Avery got the railing jigged up. It is on the 2 work tables. Ben Carter is re-scheduled to weld it on Tuesday afternoon. By then, perhaps, the second, added, railing will be jigged as well.
  • Dave Ogle worked for us tonight. He helped Avery. Celeste told me after crew that he was working for me tonight. But she also told me that he'll be here tomorrow. So now I know. I love you Celestamassino! =)
  • the Show Portal was delivered from paints, pre-rigged and the header is flown on Lineset #5 (8 bricks of weight), now paints can do the gooping of the horizontal reveal whenever they would like, space availability pending.
  • Avery and Dave Ogle started on the lower stair unit after break
  • The doors have been skinned. still no hardware.
  • Izzy gave me a flower from Big Love


  • Avery coming in at 7:30.
  • Ogle at 6:30
  • don't forget that Sarah Rockwell will be in for crew. Need an answer about the cut black drop by then. or a new task for her.
  • Meeting at 10:30am with David Boevers to go over "the list" to get build done during build, and that will be over before the 11:30am faculty meeting, at which point any issues brought up outside of me being a slacker drafting/bad tech designer, aka interdepartmental, can be dealt with by the advisors/staff/faculty in the same room.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

I was pretty sure that I needed a night off

I was right.

I will not cry. Its not worth it.

Avery and Matt Hales just spent most of crew time jigging up the railing mirrored of how it is supposed to be. Thankfully this was caught by Nick Vaughan looking at it and saying, "that's not right... somehow... something is off." Looking at it, it would have been right if the theater was rotated 180 degrees. But its not. We won't be able to have this get welded tomorrow afternoon because the jig won't be finished. There goes the easy plan.

The "ooo-ooo" plan that Kevin and I came up with for both the kick rail and railing connection to the platform does not meet with designer approval. I should learn to ask Nick about every decision. But he is hard to find and never likes it. Or he doesn't care. I'm not so good at reading which things are going to make him freak out and which things he just wants me to deal with. This one I was wrong about. I could rant, but I'm not going to. Somebody in this designer-TD relationship needs to stay outwardly mellow. It sure isn't going to be him. So I guess that it has to be me. That is probably ok. I need the practice. Yelling at the designer doesn't get me anywhere.

Nick asked specifically for THREE (3) sheets (his number, his request, not mine) of masonite to be replaced on the stage and routed with grooves for texture. In my head and on the calendar, that was a 2 person, 1/2 crew night (2 hours) job. We looked at the floor tonight, and he wants to replace 4 sheets, but they aren't just plain old 4'x8' sections because the apron is weirdly laid out. And the groove needs to fade out, so that it isn't there at the edge of the sheet, where it would be obvious that it doesn't continue in the other sheets. Oh, and there are funny rubbery disc/plug/hole things in the floor, in a nice little grid pattern, covered with black gaff tape. They aren't so pretty and they make lumps. They appear to be there for attaching the seats when the pit is at auditorium level. I need to talk to DR about that.

I still have 2 big elements that aren't figured out in their entirety... the chandelier and the spinning stairs. And I don't think that I can look at another CAD drawing of f#$*ing stairs tonight. Or really, another computer screen. My head hurts and my railing is right back where it started. And the lower stairs aren't started either.


Avery is coming in tonight. I talked with Ben Carter, and he is happy with Avery doing the jig for the railing. I am going to have him put it together on a temporary table of plywood and sawhorses in the Chosky. After it is put together tonight, Ben will weld it tomorrow afternoon. Because he rocks. Then it will be ready for paints to seal or something.

When/if Avery finishes that, I am going to have him start on the lower stairs. I'd like it if these were built well. Of course. And Avery is a smart man. I bet that he can handle angles.

What am I doing tonight? I will be continuing to ponder some of the trick rig stuff. And drawing the escape stair legging so that crew can build it on Thursday night. They did such a spiffy job of building the life guard platform, I can't imagine that the stairs won't go equally as well. And I need to draw the railings for that too. Maybe I wasn't insane with buying more wood.

Time for a production meeting in 15 minutes.

Isn't there usually a spellcheck option on this thing??

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Designer Adds Tonight: (not surprises, just official today)
  • an additional aluminum railing has been added. It will cost less than $200, to come from the contingency.
  • Aluminum Flashing as banding has been added to the downstage face of the lower platforms. I anticipate this will cost less than $100, but will add some labor, perhaps in the load-in phase to prevent damage to the flashing. This money is also to come from the contingency.

What we did tonight:
  • Erik and Torska: Fixed the messed up studwalls. Legged up and crossbraced the escape platform.
  • Michelle and Richard worked on the doors. They have 1 side of the facing attached to each door. Thursday that will get finished. The wood is bowed in the middle. Shannon plans on hand planing them down to make it the right size. Richard will be a good clamp. (Thanks to the Backstage Handbook for helping us confirm that it is bowed and not warped, cupped or bent)
  • Paul made the pieces for the built door handle. Shannon helped him make the jig. Its pretty hot. Now we just need Ben to weld it up.
  • We gained a person from props/paints today. He pulled most of the rigging hardware for us and put it in a bucket. I think that we might be keeping him on Thursday.

  • Morning: Go over lower stair drawings. Current Budget Projection
  • 5pm Production Meeting
  • 6pm Avery will be jigging up the railing in the Chosky and working on the lower stairs with Ogle (or maybe Hales?? I hear that Steph pulled her girlfriend weight and he isn't working, but we'll see)

  • Finish Doors
  • Pre-Rig Walls
  • Leg up Escape Stairs. If I draw it, this will go faster than a sketch and "you can figure it out" to the smart crew.

Production Meeting Items:
  • Fog with a plumbing system and fancy stand in the Apron Pit? Where did this come from? Why didn't I hear about this until the 4th week of build?!?!
  • Load-In Schedule
  • Paints Return Schedule
  • Tech Schedule (aka what to do with that week Di wants to stay in the rehearsal hall)
  • "Shaking the Tree" by Becca

That's All. Love, Katy

forgot something

we also need 3 sheets of 1/4" maso... and I am actually going to get a hold of George at the A.G. Mauro Company to order the door hardware... and a wet erase marker from the art store (does anyone know what that is or is Ben Carter sending me to find a sky hook holding a metric C-wrench?)... and we owe Michelle the 2nd year grad a yellow prismacolor

Its a good thing we have fit-up

I think that some of my sophomores have lost their gruntle. Any ideas on how to get it back?

Tonight we worked on:
Sarah Rockwell: finished the Gauze Hanger. It is ready for install. Nick says that it doesn't need to be touched until its seen in the space. And then only maybe. It is already FR. She also started on the cut black drop with Paul.
Michelle Wong: worked on the door. I need to buy some more wood to get us to keep moving forward.
Harumi Ikeda: Happy 21st Birthday! She made the door plates from the 1/2" MDF.
Paul: Finished the Aluminum cut list. Yay!! Then he helped Sarah with the cut black drop.
Richard Dreher: helped Paul with the Aluminum, drilled the pilot holes for the screws, wrapped up the pieces.
Erik Grathwohl and Jon Torska: Added some inner horizontals to the Escape Platform studwalls. Finished the Scenic Stairs. Did a fit-up for the lower platforms. Torska hinged the flipper unit. Cut the downstage UNIT facing

Conclusions: 4 of the studwalls are too tall on the lower platform unit. This is unfortunate. But its better to catch it on Day 1 of Week 4 than at Call 5 of Load-in. I think that it was a drafting error. Do not draft in haste. The Kreg Jig works much better when you aren't trying to fasten to end-grain in pine. My head hurts. There is a really big circle that can be made around Purnell to check on things that are happening and keep moving physically.

Things brought up today to deal with:
  • The current projection gives me about $500 extra, while still maintaining my $625 contingency from the original allocation. I am comfortable giving this up to props so long as I keep my original contingency for when Di and Nick add scenic things. And for stuff that I forgot to need at load-in.
  • Noah brought me a sketch today of his fog machine placement and plumbing and things. Is this my thing to build? It looks like electrics to me, since it came from him and Nick never mentioned it. We will discuss tomorrow at the load-in meeting. I have forwarned Adrienne about the use of fog. She was as-yet unaware. Though at this school, every show should be assumed to have fog or haze or something like that in it.
  • Nick would like the cut black drop to be cut at 1'-0" increments because it is easier to cut it more than to put it back together. I would like to turn the black drop into a blanket. 16 oz. commando is very soft, even when FR.
  • The black drop from Rose Brand is wider and a bit longer than expected. We will be cutting it to 14'-0" as planned.
  • I need to order another hinge for my stair pivot. or figure something else out. Probably figure something else out, as I can probably do it with existing materials without another McMaster order that way.
  • Beth and Lenny are concerned that there will be lots of fixing to do on the wall seams in terms of leveling the surfaces.

Things to buy:

  1. more 2x4. you can never have too much. and we are out. again.
  2. 3/4 ply. its gone. again. but that's expected since I only got enough to jig up half the railing at a time.
  3. 1x6. you can never have too much. we appear to be low and I haven't cross-braced the world yet.
  4. Buy the upstage door knobs.

Where did all the stuff go??

Tomorrow's plan:

  • jig up railing in Chosky if Todd says that its oh-kee-doh-kee.
  • fix studwalls
  • re-try the fit-up.
  • leg up the escapes.
  • keep working on the doors
  • Cut the aluminum for the door handles and jig up.
  • Harumi will be doing paperwork
  • Shannon has Fab-Tech
  • Katy has a headache (hopefully gone by tomorrow)

Load-in meeting in the OSL tomorrow at 11am with Todd, I-Hua, Becca, Katy, Kevin and DH.

Advising meeting at 12noon with Kevin, DB and Katy in David's office.

Love, Katy

P.S. Happy Birthday David Boevers!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Top of Week 4: still to be done

To Do, By Unit
(we'll see if I can get the formatting to work)
**edited to Strikethrough completed items**
  • Pre-Rig Walls (cable picks, bolt holes, alignment, dry-fit)
  • Make Hogstrough

estimated cost: $200 (less if we have stuff on hand)

estimated time: 30.5 hours: 4 people 2 nights (rig), 1 person 1 night (hogstrough)

THE UNIT (Scenic Stairs, Escape Stairs, Platforms, Facing, Fire Curtain Thingie, Railing)

  • Build Lower Stairs
  • Finish Upper Stairs
  • Assemble Escape Stairs and Platform
  • Finish Flipper Platform
  • Cut Aluminum for Railing
  • Figure out where we are going to be welding the railing (email has been sent to Todd asking permission to use the Chosky Stage, everyone I talked to said to ask Todd)
  • Jig up the railing
  • Check the Jig
  • Weld the Railing (Ben Carter)
  • Rail to Paints
  • Facing pieces
  • Finalize the plan for the Fire Curtain Thingie

Estimated Cost: $500?? and 80+ hours. Thats a lot of stuff to do.


  • Build doors (either solve the kreg jig mystery or find some other way to do it)
  • Route groove
  • find appropriate router bit (see above)
  • Build Raised Panels
  • Attach Flashing to raised panels
  • Panels onto doors
  • hang doors in walls
  • build Built Hardware (handles and such)
  • attach door hardware

Estimated Cost: $300??, 40 crew hours??

Gauze Hanger

  • Finish grommetting (I got a new grommet die. Not industrial strength, but it matches the grommets)
  • Attach Tie Line
  • Stitch Ball Chain into the hem
  • Find out if it is FR or not

Estimated Cost: $0 additional, 3.5 hours (1 crew, 1 night)

Cinderblock Wall

  • Casting (by casting class)
  • Attach casting to wall
  • Send to paints
  • Reassemble

Estimated Cost: ~$100, 3.5 hours handling

Panel Hanger and Cut Black Drop

  • Cut Black drop from Rose Brand into Strips
  • Panel Hanger: On Hold per designer's request until further notice

Estimated Cost: $0 additional, 10.5 hours (1 crew, 1 night for black drop; 2 crew, 1 night for panel hanger)


  • Re-Survey
  • Find and Tag Pipes
  • Request Pin Rail/Find Pin Rail in warehouse
  • Figure out how to rig the chandelier so that it doesn't spin
  • Design.Draw.Build Rigging hardware
  • Poke Norm to build the chandelier so that I can rig it and electrics can light it

Estimated Cost: $150 materials, 40 hours total


  • When are the sconces being built? When will they be ready to go in the walls?
  • Check and Move Masking onstage (obviously a lower priority than building the actual set)
  • When do the walls come back to me for pre-rig?

Things to buy:

  • Flashing (how big for door panels)
  • 3/4 ply for railing weld table
  • Upstage doorknobs
  • Pneumatics
  • more 3/8 medite?? check inventory
  • Weatherstripping for doors
  • Steel Plate

Things to draw:

  • Built Door Hardware (find sketches from Nick first... uhoh)
  • Standard Rigging
  • Lower Steps
  • Facing
  • Pneumatic System
  • Chandelier Rigging

Saturday, October 23, 2004


was done yesterday. I forgot to write the crew report because the CREW never showed up. As well, he is not available next week and probably not in week 5 of build either. I told him to call me or Celeste if he was available for work and we'd see if we need him. Thusly, I have been re-evaluating where we are on the show, what needs to be built, drawn, figured out, re-surveyed, sent to paints, purchased, etc..

What was planned to be done on Friday:
  • Aluminum Railing cut list
  • Dry-fit the lower platforms in the space
  • Set up the Upper Escape Platform on its studwalls
  • Notes on the Rehearsal Stairs

What was done on Friday:

  • some notes on the rehearsal stairs

A bit of a difference, the cause is noted above.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Another day...

we built things today. Pretty darn uneventful. Proven fact of the day: It is possible to listen to too much Madonna and/or Avril Lavigne. But if you alternate, it takes longer to get sick of it.

What we did:
  • Continued on with the Scenic Stairs. Jon Torska and Eric Grathwohl are rocking along on that with Shannon following along with the joint compound.
  • Studwalls for the Escape platform are built
  • Small Escape Stairs are legged up. They are a little spongy, but that is more an issue of how they were built. However, I can't complain about free, stock stairs of the correct dimensions.
  • Started cutting out the Scenic Railing pieces.
  • Tried to grommet the gauze hanger. Our grommet die sucks @$$.

I am hungry and its half price at Fuel & Fuddle. I'll talk later. =)

Super-Speedy Crew

Pokey-Slow Drafter.

I had a small list for tonight, and quite the effective crew. What we planned to do:
  • MDF onto the lower platforms with 3/8" overhang to cap the facing
  • Assemble the cinderblock wall onto the wagon.
  • clad the stair treads with MDF
  • cut the MDF for the door
  • j.c. all nail holes in the MDF

What we did:

  • Platforms have MDF
  • The stair treads were somehow not all 3'-0" wide. So they were made to match before being clad.
  • Stair Treads are clad.
  • Lower escape stairs are legged up.
  • The "funny triscuit" has been converted into a rigid wagon that rolls quite well. The Cinderblock wall flat is currently incorrect, with one of the flats having the lauan on the wrong side. This will be corrected tomorrow by the overhire who built it. Thankfully, the already-backpainted lauan will be covered by the cinderblock wall casting
  • All the nail holes are joint compounded on the lower platforms and stair treads.
  • we went home early

Updates for the future:

  • we may be adding another 8'-0" section of aluminum railing along the downstage edge of the bottom platform
  • The cinderblock wall needs to be looked at as far as how it goes to paints after it is fixed. Will it be as a wagon, ready to roll to the theatre after it is painted, or will it be painted flat and then attached? To be looked at tomorrow.
  • 11 am Tuesday Load-in meeting with Kevin, Katy, Todd, I-hua, Becca
  • Helluva lot of drafting to be done tonight. Feel free to call me in the a.m. to make sure that I get up for my 9am class.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

holy crap is that heavy

TheatrTch42: remember in structure when kevin told us steel is lighter
TheatrTch42: he was right

I need to talk to Holcomb about getting something to lift the freaking heavy platform up in the air from PBT. According to knowledgeable sources (who tried), it takes 3 people to lift a corner 6" to get a skate underneath. This will be an install problem. The stairs won't be much better. We should talk to someone with a couple of forklifts of chain motors or something. Steel is lighter, wood is easier.

What we planned to do tonight:
  • build more stuff. yup.
  • use the MDF that Shannon picked up today

What we did:

  • San and Matt Burns went to paints. Lenny was happy, I was happy, its all good.
  • The big mofo of a trapezoidal platform is built. Its heavy. The plywood wasn't square.
  • The platform for the trick rig is built with the flipper bit. It still needs the hardware.
  • The Kreg Jig arrived today from Amazon Tool Crib. Michelle and Shannon read the directions very carefully, but the joints are strangely not very strong. This is not in line with my previous Kreg Jig experiences. And if Eric Sparks thinks that something is good to do or use, it definitely is.
  • Cinderblock wall is built and pre-rigged.
  • Welding Jig blocks are made.

What we are doing tomorrow:

  • Katy is going to get 2 matching casters tomorrow for the doors.
  • Figuring out the door frames and the kreg jig issues
  • MDF onto the lower platforms
  • Start the stairs.
  • keep moving stuff around for paints.
  • Drawings to Kevin Hines

Today was much better than yesterday. I have lots of homework to be doing. Like my HisODram paper. and my machine design. and my tech design. Oh, wait, those are pretty much all the classes that I take. I should do my homework. obviously, old habits die hard.


Is the Nick Seal of Approval for a TD shop floor decision similar to "this assignment is Deano Approved" on a Boevers assignment? I hope so. And I'm glad that Nick McDermott doesn't do much in the evenings so that I can call him when I just made a decision decisively and then second guess myself.

Its a good thing that you guys gave him his diploma, though I'm sad that Boevers wouldn't temporarily revoke it to give me a buddy at school.

Real crew report later.

Monday, October 18, 2004

its been a long day

I'll talk to you in the morning Kevin. I am breathing normally. No one died. We sent San and Matt Burns to paints. They did a good job. Lenny would like to keep them. We'll see. They will be there tomorrow night as well. Sarah Rockwell rocks my world. She is making good progress on the gauze hanger. I need to buy some ball chain to put in the bottom of it. McMaster order tomorrow? maybe. Lots of time in Kevin's office? quite likely.

love, katy

Sunday, October 17, 2004

taste the flameproofing

we started the soft goods changeover/load-in today. Thanks Matt Hales and Arcadia strike crew. Who's brilliant idea was it to store the stock masking and hampers at the warehouse and not tell any of the TDs? I am quite lucky that Mr. Hales told me today, I had just assumed that they were stashed somewhere not in the basement hall. Otherwise, I woulda been fudged at load-in. grrr.

expect a more detailed load-in request and a budget projection by the start of business monday.

I am putting in a Paul's order tomorrow at the start of business for them/us/whenever the first ptm faculty or shop staff arrives and lets me use their tartan trust.

love, katy

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Saturday Call

What we planned to do:
  • Install the rehearsal stairs into Studio A, minus the platform that is coming tomorrow (sunday) from the warehouse
  • Start the platforms
What we did:
  • Rehearsal stairs are installed. They do not have the platform on the top level or railings attached. I need to check the schedule of the room to get them installed. Perhaps in that chunk of time on Monday afternoon from 4-6 when there tend not to be classes?
  • Started the lower platforms. We build the frames and plywood lids for the 2 plain, static ones and the studwalls. Strangely, the plywood is not a rectangle. I continue to be baffled as to how "engineered wood products" can be made in a factory and have such low levels of quality control.

What to do instead

Being on the shop floor stresses me out. Here are some other things that I could be doing instead, that generally don't make me want to scream:
  • balance the books
  • do install drawings
  • install paperwork
  • daily to do sheets
  • revise your calendar
  • meet w/lenny
  • check in in rehearsal
  • walk through what you have with Nick
  • check in w/props
  • meet with the ME to be sure you have a cohesive install plan
  • do a current projection
  • organize your receipts
  • make labels
  • prototype the swing mechanism
  • survey the theatre around the swing mechanism
  • verify the lineset contents
  • get some petty cash so you can run buy some 2x4s if you have to

Friday, October 15, 2004


Tonight was long. It was Friday. Norm was supervising. A show was on the Chosky stage.

What we planned to do:
  • Finish the big rehearsal stairs
  • Lower stairs hinged to the wagon unit
  • platforms converted to a wagon unit
  • Caster plates finished
  • Show portal (last two sections)
  • Rip 1x12 into 4 pieces
  • Rehearsal Railings sanded

What we did:

  • First, we moved all of the TV PROJECT flats and related pieces into the Wells. I was under the impression that we could move them if we wished to do so. But in fact, according to Mr. Norman Beck, we were expected to do so at the top of the call.
  • Um, yeah on the big rehearsal stairs. we worked real hard. they were partially wrong. Shouldn't be a big problem to finish in the a.m. because they are fixed (thanks Shannon)
  • The platforms were converted to a wagon unit
  • The stairs were hinged onto the wagon unit
  • The 1x12 was ripped down
  • The show portal's main pieces are finished
  • The show portal reveal is near completion.
  • The rehearsal stairs pieces are all sanded and actor-proofed

Saturday plan:

  • Finish big rehearsal stairs
  • Get all the pieces to Studio A
  • Assemble unit and have stage management check it out
  • Start platforms/finish platforms? (MDF isn't coming in until Monday)

Other things:

Harumi has lots of paperwork to do. She and I discussed the list. Sunday is the strike/changeover with Arcadia. Sunday Dan Saner will be bringing back a 4x8 wood stock platform from the warehouse post-Arcadia props strike and it will be installed before the Monday night rehearsal.

Good Night.


I should be taking pictures of the scenery in-progress, but I always forget when I am involved in the process. Does anyone have particular requests of units or processes that I should take pics of? I will post anything reasonable that is requested.

What has been shipped to paints?

Should anyone ask, the following units are "shipped" to paints. When asked, the scenery build crew will move them into the tent at any point, and they are being stored in the hallway.
  • Wall A
  • Wall B
  • Wall C

The Show Portal is due next Wednesday, in the middle of the second half of crew.

The Platforms are due by the top of crew on Tuesday.

Just in case there was some confusion.

Love, Katy

P.S. The walls with foam have a lauan skin before any of the decorative stuff.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Trust the drawings

The lesson of tonight: Do not think too hard on the shop floor. Build it how you drew it. Do not overide your design during build. It won't work. You had a reason for doing it the way you drew it. Do NOT think too hard on the shop floor.

What we planned to do:
  • work on the rehearsal stairs

What we did:

  • Lower Rehearsal stairs built
  • Small platform and wagon partner were built
  • Caster plates were started, the 2 smaller ones are complete
  • The larger stair carriages are laid out and cut
  • All ledger blocks and treads are cut for the rehearsal stairs.
  • 2 more sections of the Show Portal are built (thanks Shannon and Harumi)

Tomorrow's plan:

  • John OVERHIRE!! Geller will be in working at 1pm. He will be working on making the lower platform into a wagon and beginning the platforms.
  • Michelle and Paul will be finishing the treads and ledger blocks on the big stairs
  • Eric and Torska will start platforms
  • San is going to Paints if she is healthy and at crew
  • Richard will finish the caster plates
  • after all the pieces are finished, we will have the crew transport the pieces to Studio A in preparation for the Saturday install.

Saturday's plan:

  • load-in the stairs to Studio A
  • Build platforms
  • start real stairs??

its best to have extra stuff planned for a catch-up call, right?

I'm hungry and tired and need a beer, so I'm signing off.

2 steps forward, 1 step back

Mr. OVERHIRE!! was sick today. So he won't be in to work. And now we are down 8 hours. Sophomore build crew will be working on the rehearsal stairs tonight. I will be down on the shop floor to assist with that undertaking. Since I explained them last night to Mr. OVERHIRE!! I should be better prepared to explain them to someone else.

change in plans

John Geller, Mr. OVERHIRE!! has called in sick today, so the sophomore build crew will be working on the rehearsal stairs tonight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Overhire Schedule

John Geller:
Tuesday 10/12/04-- 1:45pm-5:05pm and 6:30pm-10:30pm
Wednesday 10/13/04-- 12pm-6:15pm
Thursday 10/14/04-- 1pm-5pm and 6:30-10:30pm
Friday 10/15/04-- 1-5pm and 6:30-10:30pm
Saturday 10/16/04-- 10am-7pm with a 1 hour lunch break

Matt Hales:
Saturday 10/16/04-- 10am-7pm with 1 hour lunch for grad hours

Dave Ogle:
Saturday10/16/04-- 10am-7pm with a lunch break coinciding with him needing to leave for a meeting for a little while.

Matt Groeneveld:
Shop Supervisor for Saturday 10/16/04 call

This all equals 24 hours for the Saturday call and a little under 30 hours from John Geller during the week. We still will be behind 26 hours from the budget. An update will continue to be posted.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

How do you say "goodnight" in Icelandic?

What we planned to do today:

  • Start Rehearsal Stairs (with OVERHIRE!! woohoo!)
  • Finish Wall B
  • Start Show Portal
  • Draw more drawings
  • Figure out the OVERHIRE!!'s schedule for the future
  • have a lovely advising meeting
  • send load-in requests to Becca

What we did today:

  • Wall B is finished
  • Show Portal is started
  • advising occurred, we looked at the chandelier rigging options. easy-peasy say db&kh
  • Mr. John Geller started work for us as OVERHIRE!!
  • more drawings were drawn, the real lower platforms are on a sheet (P2) outside of Kevin's office, feel free to take a look. :D
  • Load-in request was sent to Becca. Those that should have it will find it in their email.
  • OVERHIRE!! will be working from noon to 6 tomorrow. yay! not having to leave or skip class.

What we plan to do tomorrow:

  • Production Meeting
  • more drawings, since they are fun.
  • OVERHIRE!! will be continuing with the rehearsal stairs

What we plan to do on Thursday:


  • continue with Show Portal


  • work on the rehearsal stairs


  • how far the OVERHIRE!! gets tomorrow and what his schedule is the rest of the week.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Who needs clamps...

when you have lots and lots of screws and staples and glue?

Quote of the Day: "What do you mean an inch and a half doesn't equal three-quarters of an inch?"

What we planned to do:
  • build more walls
  • ship A and C to paints
  • start gauze hanger
  • clean out dust collection room

What we did:

  • built more walls
  • A and C to paints (A at the top of the call, C during the first half)
  • Sarah Rockwell started the gauze hanger
  • dust room got cleaned out

What we are doing tomorrow:

  • Build more walls (wall B is HUGE!)
  • our overhire guy is starting tomorrow at 1:30pm. Yay! Kudos to Celestamassino for stealing him for Marisa. Thanks for not booking him all month, PIFOF!

The overhire plan for tomorrow:

  • I will be skipping theatre management to get him started. Not much that can be done about that.
  • Introduction to our shop and the show.
  • Start building rehearsal stairs.

Advisor Meeting Agenda Issues (previously emailed)

  • load-in
  • build order/priority and calendar

All my crew report love, Katy

P.S. Does anyone have a job for me in December? I'd like one. :D

Friday, October 8, 2004

Will made a fort

subtitled: "2 minutes to Drink-thirty" provided by Shannon.
What we planned to do:

  • make more walls
  • budget projection
  • put away today's lumber order
  • use the new foam-friendly adhesive
  • do a big clean-up including empty the dust collection room

What we did:

  • Walls A and C are ready to ship to paints on Monday at top-of-crew
  • Wall B is in progress, paints was carving the homasote up past clean-up tonight.
  • B1 is waiting for the carved homasote
  • B3 and B4 are both begun and should be finished by the end of Monday night crew.
  • B2 will have adjusted draftings and be ready for build on Monday night.
  • Harumi worked on the budget projection.

What we didn't do:

  • The dust collection room did not get cleaned out

Why not?

  • Paints was still carving into clean-up time, to get ready for their sophomore crew starting next week, preventing the collection system from being shut off. The dust room will be emptied at the top of crew Monday night.

What's next?


  • Materials for the gauze hanger will arrive from Rose Brand
  • Sarah Rockwell (special projects) will begin sewing the gauze hanger in the costume shop.
  • Walls A and C will be delivered to paints at the top of call.
  • The dust collection room will be cleaned at the top of the call.
  • More walls will be built. Walls B3 and B4 should be complete with B2 begun.

Farther out:

  • Walls A, B and C delivered to paints next week.
  • Show Portal begun (due to paints Wednesday, October 20)
  • Panel Hanger complete and to paints by the end of crew Thursday (14 Oct)
  • Cinderblock wall unit begun.
  • Friday night (15 Oct) 1 or 2 Varsity Build Crew team members will be doing some prep to get ready for the call on Saturday, October 16.
  • Oct 15 will be used with most of the crew as a catch-up/get ahead day (back to an earlier schedule where they were working on the Show Portal and Cinderblock Wall units)

The Overhire situation:

These are the 5 projects currently set aside on the "overhire" line. They add up to 200 hours.

  1. Rehearsal Stairs
  2. Scenic Stairs
  3. Platforms
  4. Scenic Railing (aluminum)
  5. Fire Curtain Machine

On Saturday, October 16, from 10am to 6pm, a crew of 5 people (does this include me or not??) will be building and installing these stairs into Studio A. Originally, I had planned to install them on Friday night with the build crew, but its pretty tough to install something that hasn't been built. Instead, the Saturday crew will install them. I will probably have the stair treads and studwalls cut listed by some quality sophomores to save that hassle on Saturday while maintaining an appropriate level of quality. (we've had some cut list accuracy issues)

Other unit updates:

  1. The scenic stairs will be attached to Kevin's board Monday morning to look at, I want the drawings in the hopper for when we have the labor.
  2. I am still looking for an ultralight MDF supplier in town, because regular stuff from Paul's is really really heavy and makes me sad. :(
  3. Monday morning an order will be placed with Allegheny Millwork for the Hem-Fir 2x12s needed.
  4. Ben Carter agreed to TIG weld the railing to make it super-pretty, but there is still the cutting, set-up/jigging and cleaning to be done. I need to order the aluminium early next week.
  5. Upper Platform is approved to build.
  6. Fire Curtain Machine is in progress on tech design. Looking for a local pneumatics supplier for a cylinder.

Look for an updated build calendar on the mezzanine bulletin board early next week.

Sorry this was so long, lots to catch up on, it seems.

Love, Katy

"This crew report was not approved by anyone but myself."

Special Thanks

I always forget to put in people for Special Thanks, so this time I am making an entry, which I will edit, as needed for people that need to but thanked.
  • Milo Train: helping unload lumber, being a sounding board and my friend
  • Louis Stein: helping unload first lumber order
  • Kevin: telling me to ask Paul Lumber about foam glue, thus saving me a trip out to Pennsylbama to buy PL-300, reminding me that yes in fact, I can send the crew early instead of having them build things that make me look stupid, trying to break me of the habit of saying "luggage overhire"
  • Nick McDermott: for rocking my world, being a sounding board and a good friend
  • Matt Hales: looking at my drawings, being a sounding board, sharing the casters, doing grad hours to install the rehearsal stairs, being cool
  • Nick Vaughan: for being understanding that the scenery doesn't come out perfectly sometimes.

Of course, I can't put the "why" part in the program, but I can keep track of it as they come up.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Glue eats Foam

What we did:
  • We built some more flats. They are square now.
  • None of the flats are complete because the "Original contact cement" which says that it can stick to foam, in fact, eats foam.
  • I worked on prototyping the fire curtain-stair spin machine. Its tricky. My ultra-ghetto mock-up is ready to be played with and troubleshot.
  • Paul Lumber order put in, delivery tomorrow
  • Rose Brand order sorted out. Materials for Gauze Hanger will come in Monday, Black Drop in about a week and a half.
  • Harumi is working on our bookkeeping and sorted out the receipts.

The plan for tomorrow:

  • Work on the walls
  • Lumber order coming in from Paul's in the a.m.
  • Find a foam- and budget-friendly adhesive
  • Drawings and prototype for Kevin to look at
  • Order Hem-Fir from Allegheny Millwork
  • Find a local vendor of ultralight MDF
  • Sort out the overhire/rehearsal stair build

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

15 minutes?

The Homasote people want to feature The Duchess of Malfi's theatrical use of homasote on their website. Nick Vaughan approved me taking pictures and talking to them about it. He said that we should try to get something from them. Any ideas?

Shopping at Lowe's

Tonight I went to Lowe's. It was uber-thrilling.
Stuff I got:
  1. Contractor's Case of Liquid Nails.
  2. 3 Gallons of Contact Adhesive. They didn't have WilsonArt H2O Contact Adhesive. They had the Formica kind, but I don't know about that, so I decided to go for the tried-and-true ultra-smelly kind. But it dries in 10-20 minutes and was half the price of the water-based kind. I'll just have to use it when Norm isn't around or something.
  3. 24 slant nail joist hangers for 2x6-8 and 2 boxes of 10d nails that are supposed to be used in them. They had a cool tool for setting joist hangers without another person, it was about $22. I will probably buy one after I check with Ben Carter to make sure that we don't already have one, as this will allow the overhire person to build the big cantilever platform on his own. Do the nails in the joist hanger need to be set by hand with a hammer, or can regular 1 1/2" nail gun nails be used? I got the by-hand nails because we really don't have any that aren't rusty and gross in the shop, but I'm hoping that they can be set with the nail gun.
  4. 3 Post joist hangers. These are for attaching the double 2x12 to the columns more securely. I didn't realize that these would be necessary until I saw them at the store. Can I just go back in and attach them to the wall that has already been built? Are they actually necessary? For a grand total of less than $2 total, I'm not going to return them, but maybe I don't need them.
  5. 1 gallon wood glue.

Things I learned

  1. They sell thin aluminum sheeting in rolls (flashing) I actually learned this from Hallie and Will Cooper-Daub, but its still cool. I am going to use it for the door plates. Probably going to share a roll with Hallie. Its cheap too.
  2. Adhesives are mysteriously sold in the paint department.
  3. Don't buy things from I was just getting the links because they have more stuff than and their prices are high.
  4. I may as well be speaking Klingon to the people who work at Lowe's when I say "contact adhesive." They were clueless.
  5. There are lots of pretty laminates out there, and they will let you have sample chips at Lowe's. woohoo! Even better than paint chips.

an update about Tuesday night later.

A 7 person-6 hour Saturday call would work for the rehearsal stairs, but not for most of the other units. The stairs need to be made in small pieces anyway, to fit upstairs, which lends itself to lots of smaller projects. The drawings are approved. Thursday morning is ordering hell time.

Expect Platform drawings to be coming tomorrow.

Need to talk to David about rigging.

Who wants to volunteer to explain budget projections to Harumi? I think that the quantity take-off is set up to make it pretty easy, but I'm sure that one of you can explain it better than I.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

I'm tired...

So I will write this report tomorrow. You can call me if you are panicking about crew. Stuff got done. We need to buy more materials. There still is no one hired for overhire carpentry.

Love, Katy

"My name is Becca Baillie and I approve this crew posting."

Monday, October 4, 2004

A Rock'N'Roll Start

Here is what the plan said we were going to do tonight during crew:
  • Crew Orientation
  • Wall A cut list
  • Homasote cut, labeled and sent to paints
  • Wall B cut list begun
  • Beadboard cut and labeled

Here is what we did tonight during crew:

  • Safety and tool orientation
  • Walls A, B and C have the homasote cut, labeled and sent to paints
  • Show Portal homasote has begun to be cut
  • All lauan is cut and labeled
  • Cut lists are complete for walls A and C, Begun for Wall B (about halfway through)

Why the difference? Because our crew rocks. We got the Varsity Team of sophomore build crews. Our orientation only took about an hour and then we got to work. Clean-up started a bit late, but at 10:30 the crew was dismissed and the shop was cleaner than when we started.

Tomorrow's plan for the sophomore crew:

  • Wall A built
  • Portal Homasote cut
  • Cut lists continued for Wall B and begun for Show Portal

Special Thanks to Sarah Rockwell for figuring out how to stack the cut lumber onto the racks without it falling down on our heads.

TD Team plan for tomorrow:
  • Rehearsal Stair Drawings discussed with Kevin
  • Advisor meeting at 12 noon.
  • Shannon is doing errands for her grad hours tomorrow, we will try to get the show's Home Depot run added to it for beadboard and stuff.
  • Sort out the Rose Brand mess. Our fabric and our drop are still not ordered because there has been much confusion on both ends.
  • Big Doors and Panel Hanger are also ready for Kevin or Dave to look at.

Shannon and Harumi did a good job running the shop floor for the second half of crew so that I could get some drafting done. They rock that way.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

She Can Sew! Sew Cool!

*** News Flash *** Breaking News *** News Flash *** Breaking News ***
This just in....
The crew person that we have on Monday and Friday nights can sew! The problem of who to have sew the gauze hanger is solved. And the materials have been ordered, so, soon, she will be on her rock star way to sewing a curtain with 150% fullness. That reminds me, I need to buy some ball chain or lead weights for the hem. I have already confirmed with Carrmen that we can use a Singer in the shop to do the sewing.
Over and Out.

Saturday, October 2, 2004

End of the week

Rabbit Rabbit

What we did:

  1. Big Doors are drafted and on a plate.
  2. It was discovered today that the unit estimate sheet for "Big Doors on Wall B" only had ONE linear foot of 1x4 budgeted. This was caught early in the evening and other adjustments were made.
  3. Sheet of 1/2" MDF was tagged in the sheet goods rack for the plate of added decoration on the Big Doors. Also, I need to talk to Nick about using existing sheet metal (steel) that is cleaned up as the finish surface on those plates, as we have it on hand.
  4. The stem casters are being changed to small rigid casters from Home Depot or Lowe's, one was found in furniture caster storage, and either another caster will be bought to match or 2 that match will be purchased.
  5. Cut lists are made for all of the walls.
  6. The build calendar was printed and posted on the mezzanine catwalk.
  7. The first Paul Lumber order is coming in at 9am Monday. Harumi, Katy, Norm and probably Matt Hales will be around to unload. Volunteers are always welcome! hint hint
  8. Rehearsal stair drawings were discussed with Kevin. Redraw began and will continue over the weekend.
  9. Sheet good rack space was cleared for the incoming materials.
  10. Cantilever rack space will be clear by Monday morning when Milo is finished with the PIFOF RP screen project.
  11. Panel Hanger has been drawn and will be brought for approval Monday.

To Be Done before the end of crew on Monday:

  1. Crew orientation
  2. Confirm Rose Brand order.
  3. Start Build.
  4. Overhire hired. This isn't really within my control.
  5. Next round of Paul's Lumber ordering.
  6. Home Depot to get 3/4" beadboard, H2O Contact Cement, roller covers, weatherstripping, chip brushes and joist hangers.

Build Plan for Monday night:

  1. Crew Orientation to the Shop and Safety and the Show.
  2. Wall A cut list.
  3. Homasote cut and labeled. Sent to Paints.
  4. Wall B cut list started.
  5. Beadboard cut and labeled, set aside.

Tibbar Tibbar

Friday, October 1, 2004

More Drawings for Review

Tonight on crew, the plan was:


  1. start drafting the big doors

  1. go watch Arcadia Tech for Stage Management class
  2. put in Rose Brand order during business hours
  3. make a cover and spine for the TD Team Production Binder


  1. Get Wall Draftings approved for build
  2. Put in Paul Lumber order during business hours
  3. Put Rehearsal Stairs to paper for approval

This is what happened:

  1. Shannon isn't feeling well and stayed home. She will begin drafting the doors if she is up to it. Or she will sleep and try not to die. Feel Better!
  2. Harumi gave the Rose Brand order request to Ben Carter, they would not take an order and then have someone else call in the credit card number.
  3. Wall Draftings were approved for build by Kevin.
  4. Paul Lumber order was given to Norm. He said that he would put it in today with his lumber order for Malfi props. He was concerned that it was a lot of lumber and that there would be no one to unload the truck. I told him that I would be available if he knew when they were coming, or he could come and find me.
  5. Rehearsal Stairs are on paper, plates R1, R2 and R3, and ready for an advisor to look at them. I plan on stopping by midday on Friday, before my 1:30 class.
  6. Harumi has begun work on the cover and spine. I asked her to please have something in the binder by crew time tomorrow (Friday)

The plan for tomorrow:

  • Shannon
  • Continue with Big Doors
  • Harumi
  • Make cut lists for Walls and Show Portal
  • update calendars and schedules
  • find swivel-lock casters for Cinderblock Wall Door Plug
  • Katy
    • During business hours, add to the original Paul Lumber order for Rehearsal Stair Materials. Make sure to order a sheet of 1/2" plywood.
    • Take Rehearsal Stair drawings to be approved.
    • Revise and resubmit drawings
    • Time permitting, draft scenic stairs more completely, goal is to have those on paper by Monday

Thanks and please leave a comment about the format, as I've never written a crew report before.