“New Jersey, probably, so they can be cleaned,” offered someone.
“Eww. It looks like a gigantic slug crawled across this. Or salt stains.”
“Yeah, who dropped the drape…into the ocean?” laughed a lighting designer.
It took three days, but we managed to haul all of the drapes out onto the stage, take copious amounts of dark photographs, and fold the same soft goods up into neat bundles. While one team was spreading out one drape, the next team would be wrapping up the previous in opaque plastic sheets, duct-taping every corner and labeling it in black Sharpie.
By the third day I think we were all a little tired. “Christmas bells are ringing!” in Rent and they certainly rang in our ears as we giggled away and decorated the plastic wrap with doodles of Santa Claus, dreidels, snowflakes, and holiday messages. The finished packages sagged around the stage like a giant’s Christmas gifts.
In fact, I can just imagine the faces of the team in New Jersey as they receive our shipment. Packages? For us, really? Thirty-two of them! Someone’s going to get 32 of these white packages, and see our holiday greetings scrawled on the outside. A warm Christmas glow will fill his heart as he lugs them onto the floor. Maybe he even savors hot chocolate and adds to the touching moment.
Then, he fetches a little Swiss Army knife to open the first of the packages. The anticipation builds. Such neat wrapping, and such sweet drawings—it must be a special gift from Santa. The person closes his eyes, slices the plastic open and…our water-stained, chemical-streaked drapes tumble out at his feet. Well, at least the drawings were fun to read.
And when it’s all over, our theater at home will have a snug new roof that won’t let in any water, and we can enjoy waiting for our own shipment of mysterious parcels: this time, 32 gigantic (but clean) drapes. We’ll open them up with the gleeful squeals of children. Merry Christmas!