The Arteries & Veins of the Theater (Weekly Photo Challenge: Object)


Good Evening:

If the theater is a human being, the owners, managers and producers are the brains. The actors, directors, set designers, musicians et alia are the heart. The playwrights are the soul.

The blood of the theater? Electricity. And wires, plugs, and outlets are the arteries and veins.

I present one of the simpler electrical setups you will see in the professional theater. You can see these objects in the smallest of the theater spaces contained within San Francisco’s Exit Theater, one of our greatest treasures and the home of Scheherezade 14, where my play The Duck shall receive its world premiere.

DSCN1004 DSCN1001 DSCN1002

Obviously, I don’t need to explain to anyone why such an electrical setup requires a monkey doll. However, I still haven’t figured out why the fire extinguisher is there.

Vonn Scott Bair


6 responses »

  1. “However, I still haven’t figured out why the fire extinguisher is there.”

    For exactly the reason one would think: electrical fires.

    Frequent plugging/unplugging leads to metal fatigue which leads to higher resistance which leads to heat which leads to a positive feedback cycle (physical/scientific definition of “positive”, not emotional/psychological) which leads to higher resistance and more heat which by itself might lead to a fire or may lead to arcing which may lead to a fire.

    Not sure if it is there as a code requirement or via wisdom, but it’s good that it is there (and may it never need to be utilized).

    Aside: arc-fault circuit interrupters have become part of the National Electrical Code, so over time they’ll be on the job protecting against at least some types of arcing failures. High resistance and arcing do not necessarily have anything to do with excessive current, so regular circuit breakers and fuses don’t open when there is high resistance and arcing if the current is in a normal range. Nor is any of this a ground fault, so non-arc-detecting GFCIs will also happily ignore arcing and heat-producing high resistance connections which can be plenty hot enough to start a fire.

    Electrically yours,


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