Lagniappe

a little something extra

Monday, September 25, 2006

Runaway sword!

The play I'm working on right now has a six-man swordfight in the second-to-last scene. If this were a musical, the swordfight would be the 11:00 number.

Yesterday, in our first preview (first performance with an audience, but the press isn't allowed in yet), one of the actors lost his grip on his sword. It went skittering across the raked (tilted) stage surface and smacked an audience member in the face.

Owch.

Now, the swords are blunted on all surfaces. The edges are not sharpened, the point is dull and rounded off. But the first row of the audience is just three or four feet from the edge of the stage -- just far enough to satisfy the fire codes -- so the audience member didn't have enough time to react, throw his hands up or protect his face.

So he got a skinned nose. As best we can tell, it was the sword's handle that made contact, and scraped rather than cutting. The theatre's Big Boss was watching the preview, so as the audience member got up to leave the house, the Big Boss accompanied him out and stayed with him during the last few minutes of the show. Ultimately the audience member decided to go to an urgent care facility, just to make sure he didn't need any stitches. (We're pretty sure he didn't.)

I was surprised that the house manager didn't respond to this event. The ushers are volunteers, but the house manager is a paid position and should be expected to take more responsibility. We'll see how that plays out.

4 Comments:

At 3:25 PM , Blogger Colleen said...

yikes! I'll avoid front-row seats from now on, no matter where I am, just in case. Or wear a catcher's mask. Po-ta-to, po-tah-to...

 
At 8:06 AM , Blogger Erin said...

Someone needs to buckle down their swash a little more tightly, methinks. Or use some SuperGlue on his/her sword hand ...

 
At 11:39 AM , Blogger meeegan said...

After Sunday's experience, we added the sticky tape that tennis players put on their racket grips. Should do the same for sword grips!

 
At 1:06 PM , Blogger Tripp Hudgins said...

Splash Zone does not quite cut it...

 

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