All the World – Chapter 3

by TByrd

Chapter Three: The Build

Renovations had begun at the back end of the house. The demolition of the kitchen and ballroom had left a gaping hole at the back end, but the front entrance hall had been left standing. It would soon become the lobby.

The exterior had recently been sided a light yellow, with new shutters of sky blue. The columns holding up the overhanging roof had been replaced and painted white. The two main doors had been replaced by great oak doors with a stained glass center depicting an art deco ivy pattern.

Inside, the team spent weeks knocking down walls to the far east and west rooms, replacing them with columns to match the exterior and opening the entire house to a grand hall. The floor and grand stairs were removed, redesigned, and replaced with a yellow marble. The banister was an art deco pattern of ivy to match the front doors. Walls were painted a warm cream color. The second floor of the grand hall would wrap around allowing patrons to look down to the main floor. A second floor balcony opened to the outside through great stained glass doors. Curtains of gold fabric lined the windows and doors.

When the Great Entrance had been completed it shimmered with new life.

The box office was built out of a warm rose wood with four windows for ticket lines at the front of the second lobby. Behind it, a grand room, the upper lobby, was designed and built with rich couches, short coffee tables and great arm chairs in clusters. A bar was built along the left hand side of the room.

The upper lobby had shifted from the golden wonder of the lower lobby to a rich warm red. The rose wood bar that matched the box office stood welcomingly. Eventually a great selection of taps were added, a shelf of mixers and hard liquors lined the back wall.

The upper lobby led into the one thousand seat house of a massive theatre that had been built on the back of the house. The stage was massive, 40 feet wide, 30 feet tall and almost 60 feet deep. The Scenic shop, 30 feet square to the stage left side, the fly rail on stage right. The fly system reached 70 feet into the air from the floor of the stage. It was to house curtains and scenery that came in from the air and to disappear above the proscenium arch. The Costume shop, dance studio, dressing rooms, studio theatre and offices were built into the foundation below. After a year and a half of work, the building was complete and the theatre would be ready to open its doors to the world.

A sign was hung outside the main house presenting the name. “The World Theatre. Opening Soon.”

Once the building was completed, the team moved in to their new home, full of excitement and wonder ready to do things their way. They decided on the first show, the one that would open their theatre to the world should be as spectacular as their new home and yet, something that everyone would know and not be intimidated to see. The first show chosen would be William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

In the second week of build, the team opened their stage door unaware of what lay inside. All seemed normal in the offices as the first pot of coffee was brewed. They began each day with a quick production meeting, reporting what had been done the previous day and what was on the docket for build. Lining the table was the design team and technical team. There was the Costume Designer, Jennifer; the Scenic Designer, Jason; the Sound Designer, Richard; the Lighting Designer, Nathan; the Director, Tess; and the Stage Manager, Toni. Jason spread out the ground plan across the table and began to point out the parts of the set that were built, and the parts that had yet to be done. He began with the mountain, a massive piece far upstage center that stood 20 feet tall and slowly arched down to the left and right. The mountain, as it stood currently on stage was nothing more than a glorified series of tall platforms and steps. They would eventually be faced with chicken wire muslin that would give the illusion of rock. As he began to explain his plan for the day a great crash was heard from the stage.

“What was that?” Tess asked alarmed.

Jason didn’t stop to ask questions. He fled out the door, followed by the rest of the design team and up the stairs to the main stage. The crashing continued. It sounded as though the entire set was caving in on itself. As the team spilled out onto the stage they were stunned when nothing seemed out of the ordinary. They were silent as they checked around the stage, finding nothing that could have caused such an intense noise.

Another crash sounded from within the scenic shop. The team followed the noise but was unable to determine its origin. Nothing seemed to have fallen, broken or in any way out of the ordinary.

Another crash sounded from the stage again. The team broke in two, half returning to the stage, the other staying in the scenic shop. Again, nothing had fallen, nothing had broken.

“Someone is pulling our leg,” Toni said scanning the theatre intensely.

“Is someone here?” Tess called.

Small footsteps rang out down the back stairs. Tess took off after the sound and followed it all the way through the basement and out into the grand lobby. What she saw there stopped her dead with fear.

The curtains had been pulled from their rods and left in a pile in the center of the floor, furniture had been turned upside down, and pictures that hung on the walls had been removed and had been left in a strange structure on top of the pile of curtains.

A cold wind passed over Tess sending a shiver up her spine and a childish laugher rang out loudly through the main hall, echoing off the golden marble.

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