Yesterday, while compiling the piece I wrote for Stage Directions on the troubles at NYTW, I attempted to contact John Collins, the director of The Sound And The Fury, which begins previews at NYTW tonight. It just so happens that the production department was in the middle of teching the Elevator Repair Service show the day they were called behind closed doors and told that their department was being “eliminated.”
After the meeting took place, they couldn’t just go home and decompress — they had to stick around until midnight and work on the show. So, I asked Collins about how that went, and what he thought about the firings. I did not hear back from him until this morning via email.
This is some of what he had to say:
“We were all very surprised. I got the impression from the production staff that all their positions were being permanently eliminated in favor of hiring freelance technicians on a project-by-project basis. On the surface, that seems to set NYTW way back. It’s hard to imagine a space running as well as that one does without a qualified permanent production staff.”
And what about how the staff conducted themselves after receiving the news? Again, Collins:
“Those guys are all pros and they did not miss a beat where work on our show was concerned. They’ve all done exceptional work for us. They were all upset, but they didn’t let it affect work on our show at all. I have no complaints about the work they’ve done. It’s been great and continued to be after they all got the bad news.”