The above Ad will no longer appear after you Sign Up for Free!

epic theatre fail

Discussion in 'Safety' started by atm999, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. atm999

    atm999 Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    0
    I was not part of this show, but this is so funny that I have to post it. The night before a production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat closed, the entire company went out partying. On the was back, the actor which plays Jesus slipped on ice and twisted his ankle. He's fine now, but his understudy took his place for closing night. in the final scene, when Jesus dies on the cross and floats un on the fly rail to heaven, everything went as it should have until the fly crew began to raise him. The US was 75 pounds lighter than the main actor, so he bagan to shoot up. One fly person grabed the rope with his bare hands and got third degree rope burns, while another smashed the brake back on. Because he braked it so quickly, the cross fell off of the bar and fell five feet to the floor with the actor still on it. Although it landed vertically, it then fell forward and smashed the actor's face into the floor. Cue blackout and curtain: the show is now closed!
     
  2. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Youch!

    Were the actor's hands strapped to the horizontal of the cross?
     
  3. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,543
    Likes Received:
    2,540
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    Did the actor SURVIVE?
     
  4. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    This is either an example of:

    1. Why you should only have a professional company fly people.

    2. A theatrical urban legend (like the “bricklayer accident”). To my knowledge, Jesus is not in Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat. Also, as described, these amateurs would have had to have flown in a 150 - 200 lb (more or less) out of balance pipe just to attach the actor. And, of course the show closed – it was the last show.

    Joe
     
  5. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

    Messages:
    9,431
    Likes Received:
    1,826
    Location:
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Godspell or Superstar I assume... Most places just fly in a batten and tie them to it, then curtain... no one flies out. Bad idea.
     
  6. cprted

    cprted Active Member

    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    BC, Canada
    [​IMG] on both counts.
     
  7. zuixro

    zuixro Active Member

    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Spartanburg, SC
    Jesus is definitely not in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. We just finished in October. Jesus isn't even mentioned in it.
     
  8. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

    Messages:
    934
    Likes Received:
    32
    I'm seeing yet another problem here. Why was the cross not attached in a way that it wouldn't fall off if suddenly stopped? What happened to the 5:1 (it is 5:1 for rigged scenery, right) safety margin? And I know its higher than that for anything that people are flown on (plus safety lines, ect). Calling What Rigger or Footer.......
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  9. erosing

    erosing The Royal Renaissance Man

    Messages:
    1,026
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I don't know if it's just me or not, but I really don't find it funny.

    Edit: Assuming this actually happened in a different show since as mentioned Jesus wasn't involved.
     
  10. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Amen, Hajlelujia, can I get a witness. Even though that sort of scene had nothing to do with Joseph and all the rest of it (I swear Andrew Lloyd Weber wanted to make that as painfully long a title as possible), it still isn't a laughing matter. I'm sure if you were on a pro theatre gig, and told that story to get a few laughs, you wouldn't get any. It's not something to even joke about, like yelling fire at a movie theater.
     
  11. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,329
    Likes Received:
    221
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I don't have my copy of Stage Rigging Handbook at the moment, but I thought that any time you start talking about hanging people, you go with 10:1 at least. Could be wrong though.

    And while I can see the humor in that, and while I probably would have laughed at this a year ago, it's really not funny. Just another one of the numerous examples why high school technical directors should not be so cavalier with their rigging systems. For all of those schools that don't have a fly system at all, I do feel sorry for you - but if people keep getting hurt and dying on these high school systems, then eventually none of us will have them.

    At my high school, my TD isn't even remotely concerned about hanging a large flying piece from a batten and flying it while there's a person in it. Apparently, he's actually done it before in at least two different shows. "The actor only weighs about 150 lbs, and three or four techs can definitely hold him up for the 5 minutes he's there, right?" I wonder if he realizes that his teaching career, as well as the well-being of his family, is entirely dependent on three high school students not getting tired. The point I'm trying to make is that, while everyone here is appalled that this would happen, it is a fairly common thing in high schools.
     
  12. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,556
    Likes Received:
    59
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    While I have heard this as an urban legend before it is more than illustrative of a sickness through school systems and community theaters of attempting things that are beyond their means and abilities. As you can see from my post on another thread even multiple rigging professionals will sometimes make errors. People without proper equipment and training should never attempt anything like flying a heavy piece of scenery over the heads of people, much less flying the people themselves!

    My alma mater (high school speaking) did The Wizard of Oz. They hired a professional rigging company to come in and set the system up and train them on its use. It was always flown by an adult, and there was a licensed rigger on site every night. That is the way to fly kids in a school theater. The tech kids learned a lot (from watching!) the actors got a great experience (everyone in the cast who wanted to got to fly once) and the show looked very good. The parents of the kids who flew signed release forms and were informed of the dangers (per the district). They really did it right.

    If you can't do it right, you have no business doing it. Not with someones life on the line.

    I refused to TD several shows when I was acting as the FAA TD. The schools backed down, and decided not to fly people. I was not going to have that on my conscience. I know enough to rig lights, hang points, etc. But I am not comfortable (even after time in a rigging apprentice program, not to mention rigging and TD classes in college) flying people.

    Mike
     
  13. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,543
    Likes Received:
    2,540
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    At least 10:1 and there are a lot of other safety factors as well. This would not be possible if it was designed and operated by a procompany.
     
  14. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

    Messages:
    1,093
    Likes Received:
    494
    Occupation:
    Polishing the brass on the Titanic.
    Location:
    Not at home, that's for sure.
    I call "shenanigans" on the original post, and the person who posted it. And I defy him/her to prove me wrong.:evil:
     
  15. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

    Messages:
    4,017
    Likes Received:
    562
    Occupation:
    Acoustical, audio and audiovisual consultant
    Location:
    Marietta, GA
    Unfortunately, this goes beyond just schools and community theatres as the recent death of a 23 year old woman in a church Christmas pageant showed, Performer was 'always loving, open' | Cincinnati Enquirer | Cincinnati.Com. Many churches are now rivaling theatrical and concert productions, but often with much less skilled and experienced resources and staff than those professional events.
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    12,543
    Likes Received:
    2,540
    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
    Location:
    Seattle, Washington
    OHHHH YEAH!

    ATM999 do you accept this declaration of shenanigans?

    Everybody get your broom!
     
  17. LordOfTheTechies

    LordOfTheTechies Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston
    I was crew chief for our community theatre's production of Peter Pan a few years ago. Our director was planning on hiring someone to come in a do the set up for the flying rig, and then leave it to my high-school crew to operate it. My crew was all excited about it and really wanted to "make people fly." But I convinced them all to refuse to crew the show unless she hired someone professional to fly the actors. She ended up hiring foy to set up AND operate the flying rig. Everything turned out ok, but that could have ended very very badly.
     
  18. Grog12

    Grog12 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

    Messages:
    2,615
    Likes Received:
    172
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    While the original poster's plot holes have been shown time and time again. People have been flown on fly systems throughout the country. The load imbalance is usually made up for with 4 or 5 large strong folks to fly the thing in until the person is on it. It is completly unsafe and should never be done.

    Also for the record the ****ing thing isn't a brake its a lock and should never be used as a brake.
     
  19. WestlakeTech

    WestlakeTech Active Member

    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    4
    I agree entirely. You will have a hard time convincing me that flying some one out is 100% necessary in any production. Sure it's cool, but it's also insanely dangerous as this story (theatre legend or real thing) shows.

    I'd laugh if it was funny, but I have no sense of humor when it comes to the fly system. We did Wizard of Oz two years ago and had a "hot air balloon" for when the wizard flew out. The guy playing Wiz kept begging us to let him fly out with it, but my teacher/TD never budged, and for good reason. What're we supposed to say to his parents? "Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Wiz, your son fell 50 feet to his death because we highly underestimated the danger of this situation"? Don't think so.

    And I'm not saying it's impossible, but I have a hard time believing one of the techs got 3rd degree rope burn from this incident, if it actually occurred. Also seems like a stupid idea to use the rope lock when the improperly weighted lineset isn't fully in or out... but hey, maybe that's just me.
     
  20. Anvilx

    Anvilx Active Member

    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    26
    Location:
    Austin,Texas
    What Play is this?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice