New here, new venue, new headaches!

Hi everybody. I searched for a forum to jump into as I try to help tech the new Merryman Performing Arts Center in Kearney, Nebraska.

The only full time paid staff (and she's only paid for part) is the Executive Director. There are three of us, (one's a high school student) trying to handle all the tech responsibilities as well as hold down full time jobs. And we seem to get in each others' way. (screwing with the lighting patch and focus so the next person with an event is clueless)
We have a state of the art lighting system. Decent sound. Counterweight fly space. A rep light plot that is a mess now. And no real leadership.

Since opening in October we've handled everything from tours like Clifford, to the local 4 person bar scene jazz ensemble. It's usually whoever stops in the office on any particular day gets asked "are you available to help with such and such next week?" Sometime there are tech riders, often not.

I'm hoping to find some people who can relate to running a Roadhouse most of all. And is there anyone else that doesn't hire a regular Technical Director in their Performing Arts Center???

Are we crazy? Is this a scary situation? Help! I need a Friend!! :)


Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
How did the road shows go when they were in the venue? A road house without a TD is not a great situation. Is there a reason why they have not hired a TD or is it one of those things where its a show or event every other week? Welcome to the board BTW.


Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Welcome to the Booth!

It sounds to me like you need to nominate a TD even if that person isn't paid. Having one person who makes the final call and without who's permission no one messes with the rep plot is a very good thing. Uniformity, organization, structure, order... all important traits of a smoothly functioning theater that are hard to accomplish if three people are doing what they think is best without a leader.

Do you have a website for the theater? Lot's of us like to check out other people's spaces.


CB Mods
Premium Member
Wlcome Aboard ! Where's Kearney ?
I'd have to say that without at least one full time technical coordinator posistion your PAC is in fora world of hurt. Unfortunately I've also seen many a small town spend several milion on a PAC then never really account for who's going to run it and how ? Who built the place ? It really is a recipe for failure when politicians or "committee ladies" get a place like this built then don't account for the technicalaspects, but unfortunately as is often the case and as many here can attest to tech always just happens like magic and it doesn't get considered.
I'm not doomsaying, I'm commiserating. If you need a support system you've found it here, in as much as we will support you with experiance and knowledge as we can via the internet. Perhaps they need to up fees for the place. Get a local Tax leveed for establishment of an endowment for operational fees. It's my personal feeling that if they don't get a professional technical posistion the place will expirience a rapid degradation in appearence and ability to serve the community.
If you need testimonails in support of expanding your technical staff believe me you'll find a vast ocean of support here.
good luckand keepus posted.
Thanks for the warm welcome. As a new venue we're still in the process of putting together a decent web site, as well as a technical fact book. I have been working on the book. And now have photos, once we get the website figured out. In the mean time I'll show it off by inviting you all to look here:
(okay, not sure how to make that a hot link.)

I couldn't decide if I needed to put captions of some kind on the pix or if people basically understand what's what.?

And if someone has a technical fact book they would like to share I'd love to see it. I'm assuming I'll be able to put a pdf on the web site for people who need to know stuff. Other suggestions?
And to cover some questions:
There is barely enough money to pay a part time director. I don't know where they would find a person with the right knowledge willing to have a part time job as TD who might be needed for school assemblies, as well as night activities at various times. I would have loved it back when I was a stay home mom, but now I've found another job I love. The Center's own season brings in about one show a month of various types. Then we do a rental group's travelogue series, and a community concert series each about once a month. Then there are different school activities like grade school programs, or artist in residence things now and then. (we are actually connected physically to a grade school)

Built with donations, and some school district money so they use it free. Run by a board of directors, Was the brain child of a Lighting Designer from the local University who has since moved to Florida. SO the lighting system is overkill but we do have a house rep plot he designed.

Kearney is is the middle of Nebraska, on Interstate 80. Actually 1733 miles from both San Fransisco and Boston. :)

I hope to be around more and get some more specific questions answered.

I am curious what the ratio is around here of high school students, to college students, to people actually employed in the business?


CB Mods
Premium Member
Departed Member
First off, Welcome to Controlbooth.

Am I the only one who sees that as well as the problems you are experiencing now with things getting repatched etc. that at some point something is going to break. And then whose problem will it be to see that it gets fixed?

And for the record, I fall into the category of University Student (stupid US lingo - college... pfft. - sorry can't help myself:twisted:).
Well, as far as fixing things, that's an interesting question. I suppose it will be whoever finds something broken will walk into the director's office and say "this needs fixing". We'll compare notes between the three of us as to how it should be done and it will get done. I hope. :)

So far we've had the wires come off the ceramic on a source four. Luckily one of the installer's reps was still doing some work in the building, was shown the fixture, knew what the problem was, had the necessary part and explained to me what needed to be done. If it happens to another fixture, we just call and they send us a new part. Maybe things won't ever get more complicated than that. ;)

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