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Sunday, March 23, 2008

WET Gets Robbed

posted by on March 23 at 1:26 AM

During (after?) this evening’s performance of Mr. Marmalade (Mr. Kiley’s review is here) at Washington Ensemble Theatre up on 19th Avenue, the guy who was watching the cash box went into Fuel to get some coffee and while he was in there someone walked in, took all the money, and left. WET actor Michael Place, who was standing outside the theater after the show, estimated they lost a couple hundred dollars. If you know anything, spill it here.

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The guy who was supposed to watch the money is a brain dead moron. He needs to be fired for being stupid enough to leave the cashbox so he could get come coffee.


Posted by Truth Hurts, Don't It? | March 23, 2008 1:44 AM

I kinda have to agree. Just pick the box up and take it with you or hide it. It's not that hard; anyone with moderate money-handling experience should be able to grasp that.

Then again, to paraphrase Mike Daisey, the greatest minds in business are not drawn to the American theater.

Posted by Whiskey Tango Foxtrot | March 23, 2008 2:42 AM

Do not let the cash box leave your lap and hands - EVER.

At a festival years ago the cash box
went missing. It was sitting on the grass next to the check in table in the booth/tent. Someone hooked it from the outside of the tent, just a few feet away and pulled it over - which was not noticed for about ten minutes amid all the chatter and blah blah. Good bye cash box.

The loss was several thousand as people were paying registration fees and table/booth rentals.

Always watch the money carefully and with good sense. Thieves abound. Junkies and crack heads compound the problem and have no scruples when they need money.... which is all the time.

Posted by John | March 23, 2008 3:25 AM

Inside Job!

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | March 23, 2008 4:34 AM

@2: Precisely -- no one with two financially-competent brain cells to rub together would touch the theater with a ten foot pole.

That said, "a few hundred dollars" ought to be something the local community can help make up. I don't see much theater here (Because I am lazy? Uninspired? Not fucking an actor right now?) but I value it as an art form. So I'll be sending a check to WET today for $50.

If this Blog community cannot scrounge up enough between all of us to cover this sad situation, then we deserve to be subjected to nothing but repeated stagings of Making Porn, featuring hookers from Craigslist, and all-Downs Syndrome casts of Our Town.

Dig deep, people.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | March 23, 2008 7:47 AM

This was not a "robbery," which requires force (or threat of force) against a person. It was properly classified as theft, and perhaps burglary. (From Sachi, your pedantic criminal defense attorney).

Posted by Sachi Wilson | March 23, 2008 8:06 AM


we deserve. we deserve. who the fuck really cares?

Posted by misrule | March 23, 2008 8:31 AM

I care misrule, because these are colleagues and personal friends, and even a couple hundred bucks can mean the difference between making and not making rent.

And yes, it was inexcuseable for the box office person to leave the cash unattended, but you know what? People make mistakes, even people like the sanctimonious asshat who wrote comment #1. Besides, it's not like you can "fire" the box office person, because they were most likely a volunteer.

And bless you, Jubilation. Your heart is certainly in the right place, even if you couldn't resist the snarkage. I don't think I can afford $50 at the moment, but I can certainly toss in $25.

Posted by COMTE | March 23, 2008 9:10 AM

I find Bighorn's theory more plausible than 'someone ran in while desk boy was at Fuel and took an unattended, locked and securely stowed cash box'. That area of 19th Avenue isn't really an area trolled by thieves or street trash.

I've seen and heard of seemingly-trustworthy people stealing from a company. Was anyone else with desk boy at the time?

Posted by Gomez | March 23, 2008 9:27 AM

There are sketchers all up and down 19th, especially at the twilight hours. It's the work of seconds to spot an unattended cash box and snipe in for a quick fix.

Watch your six people. Bush's economy isn't going to get any better.

Posted by stan | March 23, 2008 9:38 AM

@5: Not exactly what I said. I run a theater and I run it well.

@8: Yes, COMTE, a couple hundred is a light night in walk-ups but, man, it might could suck for WET -- or any of the small theaters in town. I do feel for them. And people do make mistakes; thank you for saying that. I admit that I was pretty boggled that someone let this happen at all, though. It's a training issue.

@9: It's possibly one of the people working on the show, but highly unlikely as I believe they're all company members who know better than to shit on their own theater. These are good people, guys. It's more likely to be a patron if it was someone from inside the theater.

Posted by Whisket Tango Foxtrot | March 23, 2008 10:29 AM

The thief was enormous penis!!!

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Penis | March 23, 2008 10:39 AM

Not funny, Mr. Frizzelle's Penis. Now give it back!

Posted by WTF | March 23, 2008 11:03 AM

Colonel Mustard, in the library, with a pipe!

Posted by kinaidos | March 23, 2008 11:39 AM

Yeah, a patron who wanted EVERYONE'S money back, right?

Posted by Kent Cudgel | March 23, 2008 12:44 PM

WET are by and large good people. And it only takes a single bad apple for something like this to happen. Don't discount the possibility.

Posted by Gomez | March 23, 2008 3:07 PM

OMG what a completely boneheaded move by the box office person. And I'm sure COMTE is right, that it was a volunteer, not a staff person, watching the till. But I've produced lots of independent shows and the very most important thing to tell you box office staff is NEVER TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE CASH. But I feel terrible for WET and am happy to send them a donation to help make up the loss. Good suggestion, Jubilation.

Posted by genevieve | March 23, 2008 4:49 PM

Me too, Mr. Cornball. I made a donation today.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | March 23, 2008 9:30 PM

Something like this happened to a production I ran a few years back. A volunteer forgot to padlock a closet. Someone came in and walked away with a couple hundred. Sympathies to WET. I seriously doubt that the firing a volunteer would help things though @1. He/she probably feels guilty enough already... Do you think that people get PAID to run small theaters??? Sadly no. Place the blame with the person that it belongs with: the thief.

Posted by Andre | March 24, 2008 11:06 AM

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