A metal monstrosity sprouted up in the hallway from the Green Room to Stage II this week – black steel boxes of pulleys, coils, chains and machinery tucked underneath the stairwell outside the stage door.
The boxes are called deck winches and are motors used to smoothly move four elements in the set of Agnes Under the Big Top – two wagons and two flying panels. The deck winches are connected to a computer called the automation control system.
While the set of Agnes, designed by Frank Alberino, resembles a big city subway platform, the setting of the play itself is fluid, moving from a moving train to old woman’s apartment and many places in between.
One would think that that working in smaller Stage II would be a respite for Long Wharf Theatre’s technical crews, having had three of the last four shows performed on the expansive Mainstage. Not so. “This is our biggest show this year,” said Mike Wyant, technical director.