Amalgamation of Life, Director

Snow day!

Have you ever wondered what happens when it snows? I didn’t know this but at the end of last year, my fellow Board of Directors (and I but I was focused on learning a lot and don’t recall having a firm opinion either way when this discussion was being had) had to come up with a plan for snow emergencies. See, the previous January, we lost an entire weekend of performances due to almost 3 feet of snow. Yes, I said that right: 3. Friggin. Feet. Of snow. Like, how can you ever prepare for that?

Easily. You build into your theatre schedule a weekend to replace another snowed-out weekend. But it’s really not as easy as you might imagine. You have to move the other five shows, which are usually *not* impacted by snow, either a week up or a week later to compensate for the snow weekend. See, shows that follow a snow-possible show, still need X amount of week and weekends to build the next shows set and prepare the next shows actors in their space.

A snow weekend is a great way to recoup any losses but it’s also an opportunity to lose time for the next show. Which then starts a back log of work that needs to be complete for it to be a success–god help if that experiences another snow day, it only gets worse! Snow days are one of those evil (good?) conundrums that can only benefit a show but it can also cause strategic problems for a season especially considering such events as a strike, set build, return of borrowed items, etc. It’s almost a nightmare.

Do you sense a recurring theme here? Once a show is in production, it’s value is being fulfilled, it kind of takes a back seat to what’s coming up. That’s not to say that a board, or whatever committee decides on behalf of the theatre, doesn’t care what happens once a show is up. The persons involved do care. But to an extent, their leniency shortens and shrivels up – the patience has run dry. A show has last minute needs, some of which are costly, and in the perspective of a season — it’s time for the production to start and, even better, to end.

It almost always pays off. Rights are almost always extended (there are exceptions, to be covered at another date). Money is recouped. Patrons are excited. The Board (or committee, whatever) are pleased. The next show is … at a loss and scrambling on how best to get ahead while they are already behind. That is why I am so adamant on strategizing for March-June 2019. I want to have minimal opportunity for error on my side. A snow weekend can be unpredicted but I can have a Plan B (or C, or D, etc.). ‘Til next time.

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