OPINION: Access All Areas?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We often receive requests when patrons are booking tickets for a private viewing of the Theatre. They want to check the distance to the stage or the angle of view for a certain seating area - and they are always disappointed when we say that we can’t usually allow them to do this. Here is why it is impractical for us to allow this access:

It is someone’s workplace.
The Theatre is full of people for the two hours or so that a performance is in session but the rest of the time it is a place of work. It is someone’s office. When you are at work you have an assigned area that is your workplace, where you conduct your business and go about your daily duties. For a number of Theatre staff The Joyce Schneider Auditorium is their office and workplace.

It is locked.
It is a large dark room with many stairs and the doors are always locked when not in use. This is both for your safety and to help reduce energy costs. Could you imagine if someone found their way into the dark auditorium and fell down the stairs? It could be hours or even days before they were found.

You must be escorted.
Because it is dark and has many stairs and is someone’s workplace, if you were to be allowed access you must complete a Workplace Health and Safety induction by a DRTCC staff member who would then escort you into the auditorium.

You’ll want to see and do more.
You’ll want to recite your favourite Molière quote or phantom of The Opera song at the front of the stage. You’ll want to see how the lights and sound are operated. You’ll want to see where Guy Sebastian and David Campbell had their after show party. And this would all have to be shown to you in between preparations for an actual performance.

It’s organised chaos.
Many things need to be modified, changed or tweaked for a performance. These include disassembling the lighting rig, flying scenery and moving props among a multitude of other things. The Theatre and dressing rooms must also be kept clean, so there may be mop buckets and vacuum cleaners on standby. We want to present the Venue in its best possible state when you see it and in between performances it is like a jigsaw puzzle before its assembled: a bit of a mess but full of promise.

Attendance is an experience.
The best impact is gained when attending a show, having ambient music in the background, air-conditioning to keep you comfortable, luxurious red velvet house curtain down, walking through the auditorium doors to the pre-show excitement of patrons and smelling freshly brewed coffee.

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