Many friends of technical production are familiar with the comic series "Q2Q" written and illustrated by Steve Younkins. If you don't here is a brief introduction. There is a group of co-workers who work in technical production in various key roles which make theatre possible. Some examples are; Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Stage Manager, Technical Director, Costume Designer, and Props Master. The comic series uses the natural stereotypes of these roles to play out the frequent, ironic, and hilarious parts of their work days and nights working on shows. As a younger technician in the scene shop these numerous and lovable comics were posted on a faculty member's door or on the shop schedule board. We all know and love them, yes.
During this global lockdown, I am home wondering about the show that never went up and the others like me who are out of work. We are the technical staff of the shows you watch. While you are watching your favorite actors and singers amuse you online filming their talents, the backstage crews are also home annoying their families with their stories of productions past. As one of these locked down artisans, I have done everything from renovating my own house to graffiting my driveway with chalk just to stay sane. Then I had this idea to reach out to my crew virtually. As I began checking on my usual suspects (the cosplayer, the director, the painter, the lighting guy) via Facebook Messenger it began looking like a Q2Q comic to me.
I wanted to formulate a live tribute to my fellow locked down techies, designers, and art makers. I had a few ideas but I really knew the best idea was the obvious one. We would plan a group chat dressed as our favorite Q2Q crew members. Yes, it took a Facebook event to coordinate the people into who is interested in what roles and planning for the live meeting time. I called each friend on Monday May 4th at 7pm to join me, Cass the Technical Director. We talked through who ultimately be the photographer and did the best we could to take a screen shot posing in the comic's illustration of "The Anatomy of the Crew". The snapshot is shared with you all here now. I hope it helps each of you feel a little more seen.
I am slated to teach Stagecraft in the Fall of 2020 at Bridgewater State University. As the new school year approaching in this completely uncertain time, I have begun building a virtual scene shop on my website www.physicsforshow.com. It is still a work in progress but soon it will have resources and online workshops for students who can not physically stand in theirs. I will have even more fun creating the content for those. As I do, I know that my friends from all over the theatre world are right there with me. Building something new, trying something new, and bringing our own personal style along the way. I truly have felt like Cass the Technical Director was written just for me.
I want to thank all my friends to joined in this group chat of a Facebook Video Messenger call. With a little more technical coordination we could have matched the exact layout of the squares. It was important to me to see each other live while we presented ourselves. As a crew, we must work together to make magic onstage. Each night of a show is special because of the anything-can-happen experience we all lovingly curse about live theatre. I look forward to the day we can collaborate again on stage, back stage, or in the workshops. For now I enjoy sharing of Q-2-Qs in Quarantine and having laughs along the way.
Thank you Rokie, Gabby, Andrew, Chinadu, Alice, Desiree, and Leo!!