Building a Load in and Strike Plan

Load In

Build out a very detailed load-in schedule so deliveries and teams don't overlap. Everyone should know where they need to be at what time and what they will be doing. Have department heads confirm the schedule.

  • Who has keys to the theatre? Who is opening and closing the venue each day?

  • Is there water for everyone?

  • Let people know what food is in the area for lunch breaks.

  • Do you want to order lunch ahead of time so it shows up when lunch breaks start?

  • Do you have trashcans/trash bags/dumpster access?

  • Does the crew know where they can park so as to not block deliveries and any on-site build?

Deliveries

  • Who is picking certain things up and how are they getting to the venue?

  • Do they need to rent a truck?

  • When are things being delivered?

  • You want to stagger deliveries so the loading dock and production crews are available to handle the delivery.

  • Where is the loading dock?

  • Have you communicated that with your delivery drivers?

  • Who is signing for those deliveries?

  • Do you have enough hands to unload things?

  • Will things fit through the door?

Schedule

  • Coordinate with the venue manager

  • What is the order of your load-in?

  • Scenic, Lighting, and then Sound tends to be the usual order

  • If you need to build on-site be careful of dust or materials affecting your sound/lighting equipment

  • This is going to involve a large team of people, many of whom you haven't met until this point. Make sure you talk with your designers to see how much additional help they will need and if they are bringing in people, or if they need your help recruiting.

  • Scenic Assistants

  • Carpenters

  • Electricians

Strike

You made it to closing night. The show is over, but there is one last final push to wrap up the show, and that is strike. It is so helpful to build your strike plan at the same time as your load-in plan, because by the time the show ends your brain will be fried and this is when things get lost or damaged, so you want to make sure you have lists to follow.


Returns

  • When striking be sure to know what items belong to who

  • Did you rent, borrow, or buy it?

  • If you bought it and want to keep it, where is it going to be stored?

  • When/how are things being returned?

  • Do you need to rent a truck?

  • Is someone from the rental house picking it up?

  • Where is the loading dock?

  • Have you communicated that with your pick-up drivers?

Schedule

  • Coordinate with the venue manager when you need to be completely out of the venue.

  • What is the order of your strike?

  • Do you need to put the lighting plot back how it was?

  • When doing a scenic demo be careful of lights and sound.

  • This is also a day of a large team of people, maybe some were here for load-in, maybe some were not!

Basic Admin

  • Do you need to paint the stage black again? What kind of black?

  • What is the most eco-friendly way to manage this?

  • Do you have trashcans/trash bags/dumpster access?

  • Do you need to go to the dump?

  • (Yes, look it up and budget for it and know who is doing it)

  • What is the check-out process with your venue manager?