Now that the cast and creative team of In the Heights have completed a busy first week of rehearsal and are enjoying a well earned day off, let’s take a minute to appreciate what goes into getting a large cast settled in Rochester! Angela Giuseppetti, Geva’s Company Manager, is in charge of travel and housing for the acting company – which requires some days spent at her desk booking dozens of flights, others troubleshooting the internet connections in actors’ apartments, and occasionally a day spent running a professional shuttle service.
Monday, August 14 was one of those days. Here’s how Angela (and a couple of helpers) spent the day ensuring 19 people were ready for the next day’s first rehearsal of In the Heights.
7:00am – Angela fills the gas tanks on all of Geva’s company vehicles to get them ready for actors to use while they’re in town.
9:00am – Angela stops by one of the AirBnB houses where actors will be staying (since Geva doesn’t have enough apartments for this large group) to pick up the keys from under the door mat.
9:30am – Angela, Becca, and Carolyn meet at Angela’s desk to review the plan for the day, including who’s using which vehicle.
11:00am – Angela meets the first 3 arrivals at the airport. Geva is recognized by the airport as an official shuttle service, so she gets to wait in the outer lane with the taxis and hotel shuttles until everyone has collected their bags. She brings two of them to Geva’s artist housing, down the street from the theatre, and one to an AirBnB. A company car is waiting for him there (Angela dropped it off this morning), so he’ll be pretty independent from now on.
12:00pm – Grocery run! Angela picks the other two early arrivals back up at the Geva apartments and heads to the East Ave. Wegmans, where they get about 45 minutes to stock up on supplies. After she drops them off, it’s time for a lunch break.
1:55pm – Angela and Becca are chatting after lunch when a phone alert declares that the next arrivals’ flights have landed! Fortunately, it’s a short drive to the airport in two mini-vans to pick up 5 more actors and their luggage. Everything goes smoothly except that one of Donnie’s bags got lost on the way – but American Airlines will be dropping it off to her later. 4 of this group settle into their Geva apartments while Angela brings the fifth to his AirBnB.
3:00pm – Angela picks up 4 more new arrivals at the airport, including Costume Designer Kara Harmon, who’ll be staying at a hotel instead of an apartment since she’s only in town for a few days. Xavier’s bags have also been lost, and United says he’ll have to come back to pick them up later.
Also 3:00pm – Becca leads a grocery run. Two of the actors are already Wegmans fans, and enthusiastically describe to the other two the wonder that’s in store for them. It’s a bit of a challenge packing 4 passengers and all their groceries into the van afterward in a way that leaves any hope of figuring out what belongs to whom when it’s time to unload, but everyone is good-natured and it all seems to work out.
3:30pm – Carolyn takes the 3 newly arrived actors to Wegmans in her own car.
4:15pm – Back at the apartments, Becca’s grocery group hits a bit of a snag when a can of Lysol falls out of a bag and rolls under the van, stopping dead-center where it can’t be reached. Fortunately, Geva keeps snow brushes in the vehicles year-round (can’t be too careful!), and Becca uses one to fish out the rogue cleaning spray. Meanwhile, back from her 3pm airport pickup, Angela unlocks and operates the freight elevator so everyone staying on the second floor is spared multiple trips up the stairs with their Wegmans haul.
5:00pm – Angela and Becca take both minivans back to the airport to fetch 5 more actors. Becca, who has already successfully driven to the airport once today, forgets that from South Ave. you can only get on 490 East, so she takes a bit of a scenic detour to get to 490 West but still arrives at the airport with enough time to visit the surprisingly snazzy restroom in the baggage-claim area before it’s time to greet the new arrivals. Angela takes 2 of the arrivals to AirBnBs, leaving Becca with 3 people – and two adorable puppies! – for the apartments. Where, fortunately, the freight elevator is still unlocked, because some heavy bags are headed for the second floor.
6:15pm – Angela picks up one more person at the airport.
6:30pm – Donnie’s missing bag is delivered to the theatre.
7:00pm – Angela leads the day’s biggest grocery run, with 5 of the most recent arrivals. They invent a complicated system of tying bags closed with different knots in order to identify their belongings later.
10:00pm – Xavier’s bags arrive at the airport, so he and Angela go pick them up.
12:00am – Director Melissa Rain Anderson‘s flight lands, and she wins the Self-Sufficiency Prize for arranging her own transportation (to be reimbursed, of course) to her apartment.
In the end, Angela declares this the Magic Arrival Day – every flight was on time, everyone was in good spirits, and the whole long day ran smoothly.