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Fisher Theatre Self-Guided Backstage Tour Stop 5

The next stop of our tour is the Orchestra Pit.

This is where the musicians set up and play during the show. Take a step in and see what it is like from our musicians’ point of view during a show.

Just like our other crew members, our musicians are also part of a local union – AFM Local 5. As you learned earlier in our tour, the shows come in with their own set, props, costumes, light, and sound. Some shows travel with their own musicians and create a specific contract that sanctions them as “Fully Self Contained,” but many shows will need to hire Local Musicians for 50% of their Orchestra . Our Local Music Contractor will receive the shows musician needs and the find professional local musicians to play the instruments requested by the show. Once the musicians are secured, they receive the show music 2 weeks to a month ahead of time as a PDF.  They will sometimes get a video of the show’s conductor going through the music. The musicians then learn the music on their own in order to be prepared before entering rehearsal. The musicians only get one 4-hour rehearsal and sound check before the first performance.

If you come to our Opening Nights, we will often feature a small group of our talented local musicians playing live music in the Lobby. 

In 2010, the Fisher Theatre hosted the rehearsals and launch of the First National Tour of the 2009 Broadway Revival of West Side Story. The company rehearsed in the theatre prior to opening. For rehearsals, the music director, John O'Neil played an upright piano above the orchestra pit. Rehearsing here are Ali Ewoldt as Maria and Kyle Harris as Tony. Ali's most recently appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of The Opera & Kyle most recently appeared on Broadway in The Inheritance.