Planning for the Chaos


According to Jim Jewell, Megan Ahiers is the reason this weekend has run so smoothly. According to Megan Ahiers, Jim Jewell got locked out on the smoking porch both weekends of 14/48.

The first weekend she only realized that she got the message long after it was sent. She saw they were locked out and thought “Oh shit, this is from 20 minutes ago.”

While she was being interviewed, she was called to make sure the toilet paper in the bathroom got replaced, make sure a old-timey photo of one of the actors got printed (they needed someone with a full beard who looked like a father), and prep the safety meeting, all while watching the Seahawks game projected on the screen.

The only reason she can even get a few moments to sit is because she got so much ready so much before the weekend. She’s learned over the years that prep for “when you know things are going to be chaotic” is the key to a successful smooth weekend. In the last twenty years, they’ve learned they need to keep snacks out so people can graze during the day, Emergen-C to make sure they don’t get sick, schedules posted everywhere, and a band liaison who can run and get whatever they need while the band’s stuck in the pit.

Because she’s on the run the entire time, she doesn’t know what’s happening in any of the plays. “I go into the evening about as blind as the audience,” which she says gives her a nice surprise when she sits down for the night.

Although in some years, she’s had to call writers at 8:05 or 8:10 am to ask where their scripts are (which usually is met with apologetic panicked approximations of words from incredibly sleep deprived writers), this year, the last play came in at 8:00 on the dot. The first, more impressively, came in at 10:50 (the theme was drawn at the end of the 8:00 show, so the play had to be written in well under two hours) and there were two plays in by midnight.

But that was a long time ago. The safety meeting is over. The Seahawks game is momentarily halted. The directors are in their 3pm meeting. 5 hours to curtain.

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