Mr. Five

The Nanfang Theater in Guangzhou is a rather *interesting* place to put on a show. Today, I walked into the theater to see a bunch of garbage cans on stage. Upon closer inspection, the garbage cans were to hold the rain leaking from the roof of the theater. Yesterday evening, our lighting designer hung all our lights and when we went to plug them in, we found out that the theater has no wall sockets, just bare wires to connect the cables to. That meant calling Mr. Five (the guy who rented us all this equipment, his name in Chinese means Mr. Five) and asking permission to cut all the plugs off his cabling and attaching the ends to the system. A light bulb, in a light owned by the theater, burned out and the theater told us that if we wanted to use that light we’d have to pay for our own replacement bulb. The theater also smells and houses plenty of mosquitoes in the audience. We pay for air condition at 700 RMB an hour. Okay, I admit skimping on the AC for a few rehearsals but when it counted (dress rehearsals), I had it on.

Does anyone have an issue with rain + live wire electricity? Nah. It’s China.

The cast arrived this afternoon. They are very distracted by being in Guangzhou: family, old friends, new theater, etc. We had a tech run upon their arrival where we attempted to do a lot of the lighting cues. Not bad work but very rushed seeing as the cast was an hour or so late getting to the theater.

I had to rework a lot of this evening’s schedule at dinner with the time constraints. Clara, our sound designer, asked for an hour of testing specific songs with the band. I worked that in but followed it with a full dress rehearsal run-thru. I did some yelling at the “pulley boys” (mostly engineering students) who couldn’t figure out how to raise draperies at the same time. I went late tonight too, in order to get it all in but the show looks just okay.

The theater venue has been quite flexible on the hours we have been there. Going a half hour over in the U.S. would violate someone’s union rights. Here, it doesn’t matter. It’s a family owned business.

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