A Winter at the Cleveland Playhouse
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During the winter quarter 1975, from January 2 until March 13 I was an intern in the scenic shop at the Cleveland Playhouse. I had originally hoped to spend part of my time working with the designer as an assistant but because of the organization of the Playhouse this was impossible. This is not to say that I did not get some chance to work with the designer but my relationship with him was limited to that of a regular shop technician. Thus though my experiences were less concerned with design than I had hoped, I learned far more about the technical aspects of production than I had foreseen. While I was at the Cleveland Playhouse, I worked on the set construction of four shows: Hot 1 Baltimore, Richard III, Confession at Night, and The Rivals. I also was part of the strike crew for two other shows; The Count of Monte Cristo and Hay Fever, and the rebuilding of the set for Sea Horse. In addition to set construction, I worked with electrics on Richard III, Confession at Night, and The Rivals and was on the running crew in electrics for Richard. As I felt that a journal of my day-to-day activities and experiences would be exceedingly dull and unenlightening I will attempt in this report to summarize some of the experiences, techniques, and insights I gained while working in Cleveland. This paper is divided into several sections dealing with chronology, learning experiences, the relationship between the Scenic Director, designers, and the scenic shop, and some of the advantages and disadvantages of working at the Cleveland Playhouse. Following these is a short personal evaluation of my experiences and the appendices. The appendices contain what I consider to be some pertinent facts about the Cleveland Playhouse.