Like nothing else in my experience, the OHS auditorium was a huge treasure box of tricks, traps, and secret places comprehensible only through experience and by the guidance of upperclassmen and women who had gone before. Negotiating its space and discovering its secrets required an understanding of received lore and the unspoken belief in the auditorium was a huge, interconnected, organic system. The auditorium included public spaces (the stage and seating), semi-private spaces (the loading dock, the catwalks, the control booth, orchestra pit, the workshop), and secret spaces (which, considering the reaction to the recent exposure of some secret areas in the Smoky Hill HS auditorium, I don’t dare name). Each contained their share of stories and tradition, of exploration and discovery, daring do and unexpected moments, of risk and fellowship.
Some secret spaces lay in plain sight, which liked the threadbare green couch in the stage left follow spot bay were notable only for its unwholesome stains and for the stories we shared about unsanctioned student activities that took place there. Some of the lore we exchanged was practical—that flipping the unmarked light switch on the fifth catwalk had catastrophic consequences, for instance, or that fiddling with a certain valve near the workshop door tripped the stage’s fire suppression system. And like every repository of emotional intensity, the stage had its share of ghost stories: Who was that shadowy figure that lurked near the follow spots? What kind of sick ghoul was Hermie the Headset Baby?
What stories can you share? What lore do you remember?