Flying Walls

Our school's musical this years was "Oliver!". And for those who know the play one of the scenes is in Fagin's Den. So to show this scene we build a wall, just pieces of 1X4 screwed together in a jamble, that we flew down when needed. One of the performances we had was for the junior highs in the area. And in one of the scenes where the wall was needed our backstage crew brought it down while there were people moving rolling staircases and such on stage...only one side of the wall got caught on one of the moving staircases. So it was all crooked but we had to go so our Student Stage Manager called the cue for lights up to go.
Needless to say the director was not very pleased. While our SM was trying to find an non obvious way to get the wall off the staircase the director was running around backstage trying to find his own way. At the same time our SM sent a techie crawling under scenery the director sent one of the actors on stage to make it look like it was supposed to do that to lift the wall off. All the while our SM is telling all our backstage crew that he has it under control and that the director shouldn't do anything but they couldn't stop him.
It all ended up fine since no one really complained that much.
Thats not good for the single fact that two people were trying to solve the same problem, and they were clearly not in communication. During a show the director should understand that he or she is done with the part of the show. It is now the SM's job to run the show, and the SM is in charge of any problems that come up.

There could have been a problem if the actor drooped the set on the techie crawling around down there without knowing, or if the techie pushed the set onto the actor.

However, its good that nothing happened.
yes definatly comunication is key

"Listen carefully to the instructions of the Director as to how he wants things done - then do it the right way. In the days of thy work, he will see thy wisdom, give himself the credit, and rejoice." - the techie bible
I can see both sides of this. If the director is/was a faculty member, he may have been worried that somebody would get hurt. If the "wacky wall" seemed to look like it wasn't stable, he may have felt the need to over ride the chain of command of the SM to the crew.
Nonetheless, communication should have been the first order of the day, and he was wrong to have jumped in without telling anybody.
At least it turned out all right. :?

Finaly, someone else who appreciates good literature. I guess this one also could apply here:

"Beware of actors when flying in walls, for they will stand and watch, and get crushed"- the Techie Bible

(so it doesn't apply, but it is good advice)
our SM was telling backstage not to let the director do anything and that he had it under control but they really couldnt stop him. and then our SM took off his headset because "he wasn't the stage manager anymore" but shortly after put it back on.
i had almost the same thing happen a couple of years ago. i was flying the sets for that show, it was one of my first shows where i was really involved, before that i always took stupid jobs. anyway, the backdrop got caught on a moving arch that the runners forgot to remove. even though it was clearly the runner's fault because they knew the first thing to move was the arch so i could fly in the next backdrop i was freaking out. i thought that was bad until later on in the show a piece of scenery that was duct taped to the batten (dont even ask, it was cardboard and hard to mount any other way) fell off the batten while up in the fly space and half of the orphanage living room wall (the show was annie) fell onto the stage, appearing to the audience as if it fell out of the sky. for the remainder of the show we used half a set for that scene. im not even gunna get into all the problems with that show, but it was a 6th grade show, so problems were expected. im only talkin about the ones dealing with me :)

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