Today was the first day of regular season--we're prepping for the Gala on Saturday, which is our giant (and I do mean giant) fundraising party to mark the opening of our season. I'm the crew chief in the Ted Shawn, which means I'm basically second in command. It'll be interesting being in that position for Gala, since there are so many more performers than normal.
To give you an overview of the Gala, it has three stages.
Stage one is happy hour. Some dancer/performance artist will hang upside down from a giant chandelier suspended above our Great Lawn on a truss and pour champagne for the guests as they walk underneath her.
Stage two is the Gala performance in the Shawn; that's my bit. There will be a video screening, performances by the Alvin Ailey company, a world premiere performance by the ballet school students here (they started learning the piece today--I don't envy them), a guy whose name I can't remember, and a surprise guest. The tough part about that will be doing all the quick changes between pieces; the projector screen is proving particularly troublesome, because we haven't yet found a way to gracefully get it onstage for the movie and then offstage for the next dance.
Stage three is the actual four-course dinner, which is held in a 170-foot by 60-foot enormous freaking tent with chandeliers. There will be a drumming group leading everyone toward the tents from the theatre (this is mostly a crowd-control aspect, not a performance aspect), followed by an auction which includes a $30,000 diamond necklace, and finally, dancing to music by a big jazz band.
As you can probably tell, it's going to be a huge deal. I'm excited, although I'm a little sad to miss the lady hanging upside-down from a chandelier. Further details as events warrant.