I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I don't think I can take this anymore. The rigging situation at my school’s theatre has gotten to the point where I am actually nervous about spending too much time under the battens. This can all be traced back to one person – the director at my school. Until last year, our director was also the Technical Director (and pretty much everything else). He’s retired, so he had the time for it. He has no formal theatre experience apart from high school theatre way back a long time ago. Most of what he knows he has taught himself as he’s done this for so long. This year, we have a new TD who did actually do theatre work in college, but isn’t very knowledgeable about lights, sound, or rigging. The main difference is that the new TD is fully aware of his lack of knowledge, while the director insists that he knows exactly what’s going on all the time. I’m just going to list a couple examples of rigging problems at my school, almost all that can be traced back to the director. For one, our system has not had an inspection in at least 19 years (as long as the director has been there), and probably many more than that. Somehow, a lift line has gotten tangled underneath one of our battens, so we can't move either of those battens. Any attempt to move one just makes the other start moving also, and if you go far enough it will start to tip at a very steep angle. Only a couple of our arbors actually have working retaining collars that can lock. Some are just totally missing the collars, and some of the collars can’t tighten so they just move freely up and down the arbor. Even scarier is that many of our arbors have many bricks actually stacked on top of the collars in the arbor. And even scarier than that is that four of our arbors have bricks resting on just one collar, meaning that the entire stack above that is at an angle, and thus much closer to potentially falling out. We have the typical “spreader plates used to mark pipe weight” problem, and the ropes are so old that they literally draw blood even if you only use one lineset that’s perfectly in weight for a couple seconds. And now the big thing that prompted me to write this. During the final rehearsal/first preview, a call came over the radio that one of the linesets had started moving on its own while it was still locked. I sprinted down from the booth to backstage to check what happened, and when I got back I discovered that the adjustment screw had come loose all by itself over the course of an hour without having ever been moved in that time! I know that none of the techs did it, because they had no idea it was even there and they were all pretty scared about it too. I tightened the screw back up and tied off the arbor to the locking rail using safety cables and a carabiner, just in case. Then I sat down there by the rail for the rest of the show to make sure it didn’t move again. The next day, I walk into the theatre to find that the screw had come loose again, and the safety cables were the only thing preventing the pipe and the set piece on it from falling to the floor and crushing scenery. I tightened it again and just left the cables on there. Later, the director came in, saw the cables, and removed them from the arbor without asking me why they were there. He then confronted me about why I had done that. Of course I had already told him what happened, but I told him again and explained why I wanted to have a second method of support in case the screw loosened again. He then gave the answer that made me question whether I really wanted to be in this theatre: "Oh, this happens occasionally. The Second Electric does this all the time too. You just have to tighten it down and it'll stay for a while." At this point, I didn't say anything, just had an expression of disbelief on my face, so he continued, "I'm a jerry rigger. This isn't professional theatre, it's high school, and so we can't always do things the way they do on broadway. Safety's important, but if I need something to get done, I'm just gonna do it the easiest way I can, not make more work for myself to make it safer. We can worry about that another time." Am I just overreacting here or something? To me, I can't even fathom how someone could say that and actually mean it. Maybe I'm just taking this safety thing too far, but I don't think so. Anyways, let me get to the point of all this. I've realized after trying hopelessly for a long time that there's no way I can convince him to start using safer rigging practices. Is there some obscure law somewhere that says "you need to use safe rigging in schools" or something? Basically, anything that I could use to get an inspector to show up for a surprise rigging inspection. Unfortunately, rigging inspections are too expensive for me to afford, and like I said there's no way I can convince this guy to pay for one. I have tried to ignore this stuff for the most part, since you can't win every battle, but now that things are actually starting to drop down by themselves, I can't ignore it anymore. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do?