Set collapses during theater rehearsal

Incident in Taylor Studio Theater leads to injuries and canceled show

Kennedy Sievers/Senior Staff Writer

A platform collapsed on stage during a rehearsal for Woyzeck Saturday, Mar. 4 in the Studio Theater. Five students—Noah Grutel-Hoyt, Lance Jones, Bella Lewis, Zack Prall, and Spencer Shiplett—were all standing on an eight-foot platform when it collapsed under their weight. Four of the students sustained injuries and went to the ER.

“Honestly, I still can’t believe it happened, though, all the signs were there. We’d been breaking steps on that stage for quite a while, hearing foreboding cracks and moans when we stepped in the wrong places. Still, it’s hard to imagine something like that happening until you’re right in the middle of it,” Lewis said.

Jones received a tetanus shot and staples in his hand, Lewis bruised her tailbone, Prall injured his knee, and Shiplett fractured his spine. All students involved were not severely injured and are recovering.

“There was a warning shot with the initial crack. Then, suddenly, I was on my back, and everyone was surrounding me, telling me to stay down. I’m lucky I didn’t get a spinal fracture with how I fell, and I’m glad no one got severely injured. It was scary, and, had they built the stage again, I probably wouldn’t have stepped on it,” Lewis said.

Western will be paying the students’ medical bills in full.

The cast and crew held a meeting Monday, Mar. 6 to discuss the accident. During the meeting, director Scott Little, Director of Theatre and Technical Director, claimed that the accident was most likely due to malfunctions with the materials used to build the set.

In the same meeting, the cast and crew resoundingly chose to work on a new show in place of Woyzeck called All in the Timing, a set of comedy one acts, which is set to premiere sometime in mid-to-late April.