Alex Van K is Gulfshore Playhouse’s Technical Director.
Upon arriving to Naples in preparation for my new job at Gulfshore Playhouse, excitement set in, I was arriving to a new part of Florida I’ve never been to or even heard of. I’ve been as far south as Orlando (Disney World), so when I pulled into a fairly large town with more options for adventure than just fast food restaurants, I was elated!
I went to the office and met Kristen, Cody, Jennifer, my assistant technical director, John Forton, and the rest of the office staff. We went through the usual introduction and paperwork. Once all that was taken care of, the tour was next, I couldn’t wait to see the spaces we would be working in for the next nine months. My initial thoughts when I first saw the theatre was, “That’s intimate.” I love smaller spaces since it allows the audience to be as close and personal to the productions as possible.
Tucked away in one of the industrial parks of Naples are the production shops for the Playhouse. This is where scenic elements will be constructed before being transported to the theatre. The size of the shop is larger than the theatre space, which allows the crew to mock up the set before it goes into the theatre to troubleshoot as much as possible. A rarity amongst the many spaces I have worked in the past!
We jumped right into the first show, The Mountaintop. John and I arrived a week earlier than the rest of the production crew, which allowed us time to prep construction plates and pre-order materials for the show. A week passed and the new crew arrived. We all seemed to hit it off well and everyone jumped right in as if we had been working together for a while now. As pieces came together and I did my usual progression photos, we were familiarizing ourselves with Google Drive, I came across the option to make a website. It started off as a silly joke during our break times as we tried to figure out what this website should be like. Soon it developed into something rather serious, a place where we could upload the progression photos, for the rest of the company so that they could get an insight to the progress of scenic elements. We decided to name the intercompany website “Scene Shop Rocks,” a moniker which we will strive to maintain.