Notes on a Load-in

February 17, 2011

Notes from a Load-In: Stick Fly 2011

During the past week of preparations for Mo’olelo’s production of Stick Fly there’s been a heap of sawdust clouding the Tenth Avenue Theatre stage. Dave Weiner’s set design for this show will mark the largest set construction for a Mo’olelo production and the saws and drills have been running around the clock!

It’s been a few years since the days when Mo’olelo made theatre at the Diversionary Theatre space. As Mo’olelo has grown, so too has the size of their productions.

Erecting an entire house inside the Tenth Avenue Theatre has certainly been a labor intensive experience. This production team had to work with only a week and a half before the arrival of an audience so there have been crews working morning, noon and night. Running cables for lights, building walls and flooring, plastering and painting, sewing costumes, and wiring speakers make much work for many hands.

For those of you that support Mo’olelo productions with donations, it is during weeks like this that the lion’s share of funding is used to create the art that we all have come to appreciate and enjoy. Many hands for many hours cost more that a few pennies when it comes to hiring skilled professional artisans. And the cost of lumber these days is not what it was a decade ago.

I personally have enjoyed working on this production for the green aspects of the set construction. Dave has always been a creative mind when it comes to designing a set, but he’s also quite savvy when it come to building one as well. In the set for Stick Fly alone there are numerous pieces of recycled scenery. Some pieces were gathered from various partner theatres around San Diego, and have been used in dozens of shows prior to this one. Although this method of operation can be laborious and inconvenient for a designer, it is both economically efficient for producers and environmentally responsible to the people of San Diego. When this production of Stick Fly closes, the wall units and flooring will be saved at the Tenth Avenue Theatre for use by other theatre and dance companies in future productions.

San Diego arts organizations can truly reduce the amount of waste and their collective environmental impact by working together and sharing their resources. The set for Stick Fly is surely a prime example.

Entry by Seamus O’Bryan, Scenic Carpenter – NTZ Designs


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