Max Reichlin and Ellie McKay high-five after the Senses strike

Well, When I Come To My Senses, I’m Alive! is finished. We had a great run, with good audiences, a tight-knit cast, and pretty much everything you could hope for in a mainstage production.

At Annex, we have a tradition of striking the show the same night as closing, with the closing night party following strike. It’s a tradition that occasionally engenders some grumbling, but it’s great for getting everyone to show up to strike, and it’s amazing how fast it goes with all those people around to help. The setup goes, before we start: people are assigned into teams who work on different tasks, and forbidden from starting the party (ie, eating any of the luscious spread, or partaking of any alcohol) until strike is done. And, of course, there’s a ceremony for the end of strike: the high-five.

The Technical Director and the show’s Production Manager do a final walk-through of the space, and make sure all the strike tasks are finished, then they gather everyone, proclaim strike done, and high-five. Wild applause, then we all stampede the lounge, where there is a huge spread of food and drinks to make sure the merry-making is well supported.

Last night’s strike was particularly poignant. Normally, there’s some poignancy, because we’re closing a show, and it seems like half the time, we’re really not ready for the show to be over. Added to this was the fact that this time, we’re sending off several of our beloved staff: Max Reichlin is stepping down as Technical Director, and Ellie McKay is stepping down as Production Manager. As if that weren’t enough, David Roby is stepping down as Assistant Technical Director, and Kristina Volkman has announced her intention to leave after the summer shows (Her Mother Was Imagination, for which she’s acting as Production Manager, and Penguins 3). It’s a pretty bittersweet thing for us: they’re all going on to new opportunities and adventures, but we’re sure going to miss seeing their faces at staff meetings.

Fortunately, our newly minted Annex staff alums are leaving in high spirits and thrilled with their time at Annex, and we’re looking forward to their participation as active and involved company members; in addition, of course, to the fact that Max and Ellie are two of the prime movers and shakers around Her Mother Was Imagination (which we lovingly abbreviate HMWI — pronounced “him-we”) this summer. Ellie is directing the show, and Max is helping produce, including setting up the human-power system which will power the show (no kidding, folks on bikes will be providing all the power used in the show, it’s gonna be cool!).

So please join us in saying goodbye to Max, Ellie, David and Kristina the staff members, and saying hello to Max, Ellie, David and Kristina the company members!