The American Gun Show technical load-in was a really cool experience for those of us who are interested in the technical aspects of shows. It still amazes me how the venues are able to transform seemingly random buildings into spaces suitable for performance. The American Gun Show is in Gryphon Venues, located in the Point Hotel. A room on the bottom floor was transformed into a black box type theater with a thrust stage, and amazing grid of lights considering the situation. Black curtains covered all four walls, and the stage was center with audience chairs around three of the four sides. The sound and light technician sat in the back corner along with the stage manager and director who were frantically trying to adapt their light cues to make the best use of the available lights.
The runtime of the show is 60 minutes, and the company was given only 60 minutes to build, load-in, and strike their show. Though most of us have sat through our fair share of load-ins and tech rehearsals, it amazed me how quickly everything needed to come together and I loved watching their stage manager's techniques. Because multiple shows use the same space, none of the companies are allowed to use spike tape. Instead, their stage manager spaced out their set pieces and took a picture of the leg of each chair using her foot to measure the distance.
Their director ran a cue-to-cue, only performing certain segments in real time. From a stage manager's perspective, it was so cool to watch this process happen so quickly compared to the 15-hour tech rehearsals I was accustomed to.