Backstage Past: 1960s Stagehands Load-in at National Theater in D.C.

by Michael Eddy

The National Theater in Washington D.C. recently announced it will be replacing its hemp line and sandbag fly system with a new counterweight system this summer. The National has used a hemp system since the theater opened  with a production of A Man of the World on December 7, 1835, though the system has been updated since 1835. It will be quite a change for crews who work the load-ins and outs. It got us in a nostalgic mood and we dug up this cool bit of theater history: A short film from the AFL-CIO "Americans at Work" series looking at the job of stagehands/electricians/props and flys during a load-in at the National Theater for the 1960 production of My Fair Lady, starring Diane Todd and Michael Evans.