Elon University performing arts strikes ‘The Wild Party’

After the curtain closed on Elon University’s final performance of “The Wild Party” Feb. 17 in McCrary Theatre, there was still more for the cast and crew to finish. The contemporary musical set in the 1920s featured biting humor, dance and elaborate sets — and dismantling the latter took center stage immediately after the performances were over.

Striking the set of a theatre production is a strenuous and emotional experience, according to Elon University senior Katie Moran. She said it can be wonderful to finally finish a performance that took unimaginable time and energy, but it is simultaneously devastating to destroy the physical proof. Only a few minutes after the final bow, it was time for hard hats and electric drills. The result is an intense evening.

1. The Wild Party closes on its final matinee, the last time the set will ever be
seen fully, at 4:15pm.
2. The Wild Party was Elon University’s spring musical, created by Andrew
3. The show was presented in Elon’s McCrary Theatre, on February 14-17.
4. Strike begins as soon as every audience member has left the theatre, with
backstage crew quickly moving props off the stage.
5. Strike for a full-scale production can often take upwards of eight or nine
6. Backstage, the cast quickly changes out of their costumes and begins cleaning
the dressing rooms and workspaces.
7. Katie Moran, a senior musical theatre major from Raleigh North Carolina,
played the leading role of Kate in the show.
8. Backstage, props and set pieces are strewn about chaotically.
9. The scene shop is the hub of activity during strike, where people run in and
out getting hard hats and tools.
10. Crew members move large set pieces out into trucks that will drive them to a
storage unit in Gibsonville.
11. The chandelier from the show, which hung proudly from the rafters, is taken
down and stored.
12. The chandelier looks much different when taken down and stored in the
scene shop.
13. Moran waits for orders on what to do next at 6:00pm, two hours into strike.
14. The prop piano, which is used and worn close up, was one of the largest
props onstage.
15. The piano is moved offstage into a truck bed for transport.
16. Onstage, a cloud of dust floats up as crew members begin to take apart the
staircases and balconies.
17. Stage lights that will be taken down and stored in the rafters cause the red
glow being cast onstage.
18. Backstage, the ropes that control the curtains and lights are labeled by prop
19. A crew member begins to dismantle the doorway through which the main
character made her final exit.
20. During the performance, cast members covered the set.
21. After almost five hours of strike, the team is in the midst of tearing up the
flooring they placed down for the show.
22. Two team members use drills in order to take apart the floor beams.
23. A leading crew member supervises the strike, which will continue for
another two hours.
24. At 11:30pm, the performing arts building is almost deserted, as crew
members finish up.
25. Backstage, the area has been organized and cleared out, to make room for the
cleaning crew.
26. After an almost 12 hour process, the show is closed and strike is over.

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