Talk about stealing the stage.
A brazen crook swiped two 300-pound stage platforms from outside of a director’s Park Slope apartment last week leaving her small theater company scrambling to find a replacement before its upcoming performance.
Kipuka Theater member Caitlin Michener said that the hefty folding stages on wheels were left under a tarp for the past two weeks in the gated front yard of her 12th Street apartment — because they were too heavy to carry inside — and sometime overnight on April 17, a thief hauled off the essential mounts without a trace.
“I’m shocked to say the least,” said Michener, who was in Queens when the heist was pulled off, but added that one of her six roommates last saw the black, eight-foot-long, four-foot-wide stage platforms at 2 am in front of the residence between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The tight-budgeted theater company, which uses Michener’s basement as a studio for rehearsals, fortunately got the stages for free at a theater “yard sale” in Manhattan earlier this month. The players were planning to perform on them for Kipuka’s upcoming production of Japanese playwright Terayama Shuji’s “La Marie-Vison.”
“When we found [the stage] we were so thankful, and designed our whole show around it,” said Michener, who is one of the directors of the racy play about a transvestite prostitute.
Members of the theater company, which was founded in Hawaii seven years ago, have only two weeks to find another stage before the show opens on May 10 at a gallery space in Bushwick.
“We need to find replacements or build them ourselves — we are already over budget,” she said. “It’s definitely been a struggle to find everything we need, so to loose one of our giant essential props is devastating.”
Kipuka Theater posted about the loss of its stages on Reddit.com the morning after the robbery in an attempt to reach out to big-hearted theater lovers for any leads on new stages and to see if anyone may have spotted the stolen stages popping up for sale on Craigslist.
“We’re a young experimental theater company trying to do our best to put on amazing work, which is hard enough without wrenches being thrown in our plans,” said Michener.