As interesting as it is to see what really goes in to a theatrical production like that, I think what I like best is the radio usage during the performance. All the run crew, including myself, gets a headset. (The stage manager, the sound op, and I have headsets wired to some main board somewhere; the rest of the run crew uses wireless headsets.) It's used to call cues, discuss problems during the show and how to cover for them (and there are always many- one of the more notable ones required a quick glue job after Yenta's cane broke when it was thrown off a bench during the final scene of the first act), and for the observers of the show (that's the stage manager, the sound dude, and me) to note things that need to be fixed. There's a lot of down time, though, on some of the longer light cue delays (as opposed to when I have five in less than a second during Tevya's dream), in which the radio chatter gets largely frivolous. Actually, the radio chatter is usually frivolous, even if it shouldn't be; our stage manager almost missed a few cues in it.
The frivolous radio chatter makes this all worthwhile. I am tempted to do this again next semester just for the great sense of "team" we have in run crew, and for the radio chatter. But I really don't like having so zero time available and getting behind in my classes, and I really don't like how I haven't really had free time to spend with anybody, so I won't do it next semester. But just for the radio crosstalk, it's tempting.
All of these are, unfortunately, heavily paraphrased.
"Great. The only person without a hat is the rabbi."
"Arthur always forgets it. Always."
"We should glue it to his head."
"No, no, let's just paint a yarmulka on."
"Pick him up by his feet and dip his head in paint."
"He looks so sketchy in that shiny, shiny coat. I think it's because of his mustache."
"And his beard. Everybody else has a Jewish beard. His is, like, Irish. It's actually his beard."
"And the Snidely Whiplash thing."
"All he needs to do is curl his moustache."
"That Russian seems to be wearing the feathers from the pillow."
"I guess that's what happens when he rips it apart over his head."
"It does make him look less imposing, though."
"Oh shit! I think Yenta's cane just broke."
"Yeah, the handle seems to have snapped off."
"Fuck. Glue it back on during intermission."
The problem with all this radio crosstalk is that if the stage crew hiding behind the scenery (there's usually someone, generally the tall girl with the most trouble hiding) breaks out laughing loud enough, they'll get heard, as will the followspot operators (spotlights). So I suppose I'm guilty of disrupting the show when I caused everybody with a headset to start laughing hard at this sad, serious moment in the show. Before this conversation, we had been discussing the merits of a goth version of Fiddler on the Roof, including turning the Sabbath prayer into a rave and replacing the alcohol with E and LSD.
"I still don't get what's with her suit." (On stage, one of the actors playing one of Tevya's daughters was wearing a Ross Perot-esque green suit jacket with a huge black stain on the right breast, which seemed rather out-of-place and just off, somehow, even though it's supposed to represent their poverty, how that's the best clothing they had.)
"I told you, she works in a coal mine to pay the bills."
"Maybe it mildewed. She spilled something."
"No, she's just trying to make it Goth."
"No, I think she's lactating black ooze."
"Dude, that's gross."
"Well, you never know what sort of health conditions they'd get in those conditions."
"It is Russia, after all."
"Maybe she's lactating liquid Goth."
It was my suggestion that the black stain was due to distilled Goth emerging from her breasts that got us laughing. The stage manager could barely call the next cue, while one of the followspots- both of whom were laughing loud enough to be heard- whacked her head on a metal bar during an involuntary spasm of laughter.
Dying of laughter, indeed! The show went on, but I hold the dubious honor of interfering with the show from making a remark about lactating liquid Goth.