A brief rainstorm Tuesday afternoon flooded the Val A. Browning Center’s Allred Theater stage.
The roof of the Allred Theater had been removed as part of the renovation of the theater and Browning Center roof repair, because the construction crews who checked weather reports earlier in the day found no predicted chance of rain, said Fluffy Blake, the event coordinator for the Browning Center. However, atmospheric conditions created a small rainstorm between 1:30 and 2 p.m. which dumped rain directly into the performance space through the open roof.
Blake said she and other theater managers suspect that there may be damage to the floor, the fire retardant on the curtains and the fly rigging, which controls the curtains, lights and set pieces, as well as other soft goods used during performances.
While many pieces of equipment got wet, the full extent of damage was unknown by Tuesday evening.
“Right now we are working to take down any of our soft goods and our curtains on stage to evaluate the damage and to take weight off of the fly system so we can evaluate any water damage that has happened to that,” Austin Hull, manager of technical operations for the Browning Center, said.
The next performance on the stage is scheduled in six weeks, and the theater crew has only three weeks to complete any repairs to be ready for that show.
“It’s just trying to figure it out now,” Bryce Allen, technical director of the theater department, said. “It’s a hard blow financially for us and difficult time-wise because we have a show that goes up in six weeks.”
According to Hull, the biggest concern is assessing the damage and addressing it as quickly as possible, especially any curtains or other soft goods that may have gotten wet.
That could be a problem for the curtains, which must be fire retardant or the theater cannot legally hold performances, Blake said.
It’s too early to tell what is damaged and what will need to be replaced, but facilities management and risk management for Weber State have been contacted and will file a claim with insurance companies, Hull said. An inspector will be on site on Wednesday morning to determine the extent of the damage.
“It’ll be a little bit of a challenge, but we’ll make it happen,” Hull said.