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Opening night at Berkeley Rep

posted by Terence Keane on Wed, Sep 3, 2008
in Backstage buzz

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Yellowjackets posterIt’s opening night here at Berkeley Rep – the first show in our new season. What better time to launch our blog? Except, of course, we’re all completely crazed getting ready for the show.

The electrics crew is trying to find out why a rogue strobe light won’t fire on cue. A carpenter is literally tending to a loose screw. And we’re watching the paint dry – from some last-minute touch-ups on the stage floor. Then Tony will hold a final rehearsal with the cast… and off we go!

The folks in our costume shop are putting away clothes that didn’t make it into the show. The development department is getting ready for our opening-night dinner, and the house manager is making sure we’re stocked up on cookies and wine and all those things you enjoy at intermission.

The box office is preparing for tonight’s sold-out house even as the phones keep ringing with orders for later dates and other shows. The facilities crew is polishing the floor and buffing the doorknobs, and soon enough the run crew will return to set the stage and ensure that every prop and costume is in its precise place.

Yellowjackets is set at Berkeley High School, and several characters in the play write for the student newspaper. Appropriately enough, the staff in our School of Theatre will welcome young reviewers from several local high schools for tonight’s performance.

Terence on opening nightAnd me? My job is to welcome professional journalists. We have 114 people coming tonight from the media, and I have to greet each one of them at a little table set up in front of the theatre. (It looks just like this photo, except tonight I’ll have a spiffy new tablecloth!)

So much effort goes into everything you see on stage – but you only meet a few of the hundreds of people who work here every year. So we hope you’ll get to know us better through this blog. If we do it right, the blog will have interesting and insightful stories about what really goes on around here. It isn’t a place for sales pitches or idle chatter… It’s a forum where staff and volunteers throughout our organization can speak directly to you, providing an authentic, unvarnished look at life behind the scenes. And, like all blogs, you’ll be able to comment or ask questions in return.

So please drop by regularly to see what all of these people have to say. But, today, we’re kind of busy. So back to work!

Photo by Patrick Cheatham

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