Storm damage claims another ‘Spring Awakening’ performance
Days after last weekend’s storm, the Playhouse is still drying out and coping with the damage. It has also had to cancel a third performance of “Spring Awakening.”
The storm sent chunks of plaster from the ceiling plummeting to the seats in the Russell Hill Rogers theater upstairs sometime late Friday or early Saturday (May 24 or 25), said Playhouse CEO and President Asia Ciaravino.
“The plaster that’s on the ceiling has been saturated with water,” Ciaravino said. “When that plaster is wet, it dissolves. ”
|Chunks of plaster fell onto seats in the Russell Hill Rogers theater at the Playhouse. Photo courtesy of Asia Ciaravino|
There was also standing water in the theater. And so, every piece of electrical equipment in the space — and it’s a lot of stuff, given that “Spring Awakening” is a high-tech show — had to be unplugged and stashed in the lobby. That included everything in the orchestra pit.
“We had a structural engineer come in from the city — we had a lot of people come today (May 29) to assess it. And we are structurally sound,” Ciaravino said.
|Hot air is being pumped into the Russell Hill Rogers theater to dry it out after last weekend’s storm. Photo courtesy of Asia Ciaravino|
And so, Friday’s (May 31) performance had to be cancelled. Instead, once the theater gets the OK that the space is useable, the cast, crew and musicians will use that night as a rehearsal. They will have been away from the show for a week — all but one of last weekend’s shows were cancelled due to the storm damage. They’ll also use that time to make sure that all of the tech equipment is ship-shape.
“The city (which owns the building) is going to be working on funding the repairs for this, which we are so grateful for,” Ciaravino said.
The situation does illustrate the need for an endowment fund to cover maintenance for the building, she said.
“This is an old building; there’s always going to be a need for repairs,” she said. “Lets say the air conditioning goes out. We don’t have the reserve that we need to be able to pay for those things.
“It’s constantly a struggle. But it’s worth it.”
The theater is creating a fund — called (what else?) Can’t Rain on Our Parade — to help offset costs of the storm damage, including clean-up. Information will be posted on the Playhouse Web site.