Friday, April 4, 2008

Episode 11: What a Dump!

New Line moved back into the Ivory Theatre in mid-February 2008 for their spring show... to the worse mess they had ever seen -- food left sitting around, trash pretty much everywhere, lots of stuff left behind from the Patsy Cline show. No trash cans have been emptied and some of them were literally overflowing with food, liquor bottles, etc. The exact same thing had happened to the NonProphets in the fall.

Here's a list of some of what they found and reported to the owners and the other resident companies:

1. The thermostat in the house was set at 79 degrees and was locked somehow so that they couldn't change the temperature -- it was so hot in there that they had to leave the back door open while they were working, to keep the room at a reasonable temperature.

2. The bathroom backstage was totally disgusting. There was some black stuff in the sink that they couldn't clean off. The tub was really gross. There was a disgusting trash can in there with some nasty unidentified stuff still in it.

3. The lobby bathrooms were also gross, and one toilet in each restroom was left unflushed, one full of shit and toilet paper, the other full of urine. There was urine and toilet paper on the floor, the sinks had not been cleaned, and all the restroom supplies were run out and not restocked.

4. The stage was not painted back to neutral black as everyone had agreed, as New Line had been promised, and as is standard, and tape was left on the stage marking out the Patsy Cline set.

5. A table was left backstage with a pile of coat hangers, a plate with food on it, used glasses, and trash underneath it.

6. No trash was emptied anywhere in the building. Trash was left on the floor in the dressing rooms, the backstage hallways, everywhere. And there were used water bottles absolutely everywhere, all over backstage, onstage, in the house, and in the lobby. Almost every trash can in the building was literally overflowing onto the floor.

7. There were big piles of curtains, chains, lighting instruments, screws, an ash tray, tinsel, used soda cans, baggies, sandpaper, food wrappers, and lots of other stuff left on the stage. Not only did they not paint the stage back to neutral, but no one even swept the stage or picked up their trash.

8. A large trash can in the lobby was literally overflowing with bottles, food, etc., and empty beer bottles were left in the concession stand sink. Perfect for bugs and mice.

9. There were cookie crumbs and other food crumbs on the carpeting in various places in the house, along with empty cups, bottles, soda cans, etc. Apparently, no one even looked at the house, much less cleaned it.

10. There were also many stains on the carpeting now in various places, in the house, hallways, and lobby. The theatre was only five months old at that point and was already looking like a crack house.

11. The edging on the front of the stage had been removed in some places, leaving bare wood. One piece of the edging was there and they could reattach it -- but the other edging was missing.

12. The pipe and drape that used to mask the rear entrance of the stage was gone.

13. An ironing board was left backstage, piled with stuff, including an open bag of cookies.

14. The sound board and lots of equipment was left in the balcony. It would be left there throughout New Line's entire four-week run. Other equipment was also left backstage.

15. All the chairs from the lobby had been moved into the cross aisle in the middle of the house (they found out later that this was because Horror Show had over-sold the last few performances of Patsy Cline and had to add chairs wherever she could, violating fire codes in the process).

16. There were big, long curtain tracks laying in the house aisle, and a juke box standing in one hallway.

17. About a quarter of the numbers on the audience seats were gone. Because Horror Show tried to do everyting on the cheap, she had bought cheap stickers for the seat numbers instead of permanent numbering. So these stickers would come off on patron's clothing, leaving seats un-numbered or in some cases mis-numbered because a two-digit seat number became a one-digit seat number. Several rows had a seat 1 on both ends... This would not get fixed until the day New Line opened.

18. They found out a few days after moving in that Horror Show and Friends had also run out the charge on the Genie Lift, which is necessary to reach the lighting grid, and they had not plugged it back in to recharge it. So New Line's lighting designer arrived Wednesday afternoon but could not do his work on the lighting grid because the last people to use the Genie Lift didn't bother to prepare it for the next users.

New Line began to look seriously for a new home, knowing this had to be their last show in the Ivory, and the tragedy of this whole thing really hit them. What a shame that a brand new theatre could be in this condition so soon after opening...

Sic Semper Tyrannis!
An Ivory Survivor