Special 2012 Presidents Award
In Memory of Dan Gallagher
It's traditional to have a President's Award for someone who has given a lot to the theatre and helped it function during the past year.
This year I want to break from that tradition a little and talk about someone who did not do as much during the past year as he has in previous years.
Dan Gallagher was an essential part of every play we put on for a number of years. As our first and only technical director he helped build sets, told us what would and would not work and generally kept the "back of the house" running smoothly. He made sure that we had new flats prepared every few years. He kept tools and supplies organized and everything running as smoothly as possible in a community theatre.
My personal experience with Dan started when I began directing. When I was ready to plan my first show I had no idea how to accomplish the complicated set changes that were needed. Dan listened to me go over the plot and story line and then came up with a brilliant solution that worked.
That was the thing about Dan, he listened to all the directors, he was a great listener. He took in everything you said you needed and used his experience and knowledge of construction and engineering and stagecraft, and he figured out. He came up with a solution to get what you needed on the stage so that you as director would be satisfied and the audience would enjoy the production. Even when I insisted on running water and a linoleum floor for Steel Magnolias, Dan came through.
One of the exciting moments for directors was when Dan called you and said your model was ready. You walked in and he had a model that was exactly what you wanted only more so. You could use that to figure out set decoration and blocking. It was a very helpful tool.
He also kept our green room and tool room going. I remember the first time he explained to me that part of my set budget was set aside to buy a new tool for us. That was how he did it and how we got enough tools so that we could bring in a crew and get everything built in a short time.
And if there were pieces that had to be built in advance while another show was in production, Dan provided an "auxiliary set construction room" under his house that he and others used to prepare special pieces.
During the past couple of years while he was very ill, Dan was not able to do as much as previously. But he did continue to build models for shows this past year, though he refrained from contributing much time to construction.
We will all miss Dan. And in recognition of his contributions to our theater, in particular his construction and maintenance of the Green Room the Exec Committee has proposed that we name the room the "Dan Gallagher Green Room." Complete with a plaque above the door that we hope to have installed in the near future.
Here’s to Dan. Build On!!
Alicia Merel, MCT Board President.