Despite ongoing roof leak, the show will go on

Director plans to rent lights in order to stage the fall play


Liam Eifert

Members of the crew work to prepare the stage for the fall play.

Liam Eifert, Managing Editor

The actors and crew of the children’s play, “The Wizard of Oz,” managed to stage the production despite a broken dimmer rack, which theater department chair Mr. Michael Moffatt initially hoped to be fully repaired for “The Clumsy Custard Horror Show,” the fall play. 

However, that repair has run into more delays. Instead of using the overhead lights for front illumination for the upcoming production, Moffatt said he plans to “rent some high-power follow spots, and the lights crew will literally be moving their lights all around the stage the entire night, focusing on the actors.” 

Moffatt said, “I’m looking at the timeline, and we need: roof fix, dimmer fix, and student light crew focusing all the lights. I don’t see it happening in time (for the next production), with my experience of 20 years here.”

In September, water came in through the roof and ruined the dimmer rack. This rendered 70 overhead lights unusable, all of which would have been used to light the front of the stage. Only six front lights were not affected. Moffatt said, “Without the front lights — people naturally read lips — so they are going to have difficulty understanding students. Also, a comedy requires bright lighting.” 

On Sept. 28, almost a week after the dimmer rack flooded, Moffatt said that the initial assessment indicated a repair within one week. At the time, Moffatt said, “Due to Covid-19, things are going slower than usual. Either capacitors aren’t being made for the dimmers or supply chains for copper (are disrupted), so my best estimate would be that the fall play will have it up and running.” 

While rewiring the lighting system after “The Wizard of Oz,” a company discovered asbestos. Moffatt said, “The school had to call in another company to remove asbestos, which they did over fall break, and it’s all clean and safe now.” This has caused further delay in fixing the roof, which is still dripping water. Moffatt said, “(Rain) still comes in, but it has somewhat slowed because maintenance went up there. They actually bought Flex Seal. I thought it was a joke, but they bring it in this little tub and I was like, ‘Wow, they actually bought that stuff.’ And so they tried that, and it was kind of like a Band-Aid. It worked for a second, but then I believe it cracked open.”

More work is set to be done to fix the underlying problem on the roof preventing it from draining.

Moffatt said he still tried to concentrate on the silver lining. He said, “Hopefully, people will like it and think it is funny and purposeful and not a mistake. This always happens with theater. Through some tragedy, creativity evolves out of that and all of a sudden you have this cool idea, so maybe those follow spots will be really neat.”

“The Clumsy Custard Horror Show” is set to be performed in the school auditorium Nov. 19, Nov. 20 and Nov. 21.