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Fisher Theatre Backstage Self-Guided Tour

Fisher Theatre Backstage Self-Guided Tour

Welcome to our Self-Guided Back Stage Tour.

If you're walking through the theatre the copy on these pages will correspond with the copy on the Self-Guided Tour signs. We're adding photos and more details online. Click the arrows to proceed to the next, or previous, stop.

TOUR STOP #1: House Left Stage Door / Entrance to stage & house.

The Fisher Theatre has a long history of being a Presenter (or Promoter) House.

This means that we do not produce (create) any shows here, but rather we help bring the already made Productions to our stage. When the shows come in, they often bring all of their own sets, costumes, props, lighting and sound equipment! The shows will do this in order to make sure that it is as close as possible to being the same show at every location they tour to.

The Fisher Theatre actually owns less lighting and sound equipment than most high school theatres, because most of the shows that come in, insist on using their equipment.

When shows arrive they have what is called “Load-In.” This is where the crew members will load in EVERYTHING needed to perform the show.  This typically takes about 5 to 10 hours of labor, depending on the size of the production! With so much lighting and sound equipment, there are A LOT of cables. As you follow the arrows and walk down the aisle, look towards the seats and up a little and you will see white PVC piping along the ceiling. You’ll notice is runs the entire length of the theatre form the front of the house to the back of the house. This is a system that was designed and installed by Les Hamilton who was the head of audio at The Fisher Theatre from the 1960s up until the 1990s. This system was designed to make it easy to feed cables to the back of the house while also keeping it hidden from audience view to make it cleaner and safer.

Backstage photo of Joel Perez' folding chair from West Side Story 2010
Along the walls of the backstage area, shows will place folding chairs for cast members to sit between moments on stage when there is not enough time for them to return to their dressing rooms - or while waiting for a costume change before their next scene. This photo is from the Detroit engagement of the first national tour of In The Heights. Joel Perez was cast as an ensemble member in that production. He would later join the cast of the Tony Award winning Best Musical Fun Home on Broadway and appear in the 2018 Television production of Jesus Christ Superstar with John Legend.

Dimly lit set from In The Heights on the stage of the Fisher Theatre
The view of the set of the First National Tour of In The Heights from the wings of the Fisher Theatre Stage.

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