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With CapFringe ‘08 poised to blanket DC in a fervid haze of creativity, manic energy and dick jokes, let’s throw some love at those who’ll be doing a lot of figurative and literal heavy lifting over the next 18 days: the tech crews.

Fringe’s boundless “Hey-gang-let’s-put-on-a-show-with-dildos!” inventiveness is great, but even the most stripped-down, raw-boned performance requires some tech/design work. During DC Fringe, crews often do that work in unfamiliar venues amid hot, cramped, rats-nibbling-away-at-your-Crocs conditions.

And it must needs be done quickly. Bear in mind that there’s no such thing as Tech Week in Fringe: Groups are generally allotted two hours of tech rehearsal for every hour of total performance time during the festival.If that sounds generous, consider how much of that time gets gobbled up by setting up, testing and breaking down equipment.

In short, the universe conspires to prevent the kind of small, smoothly timed theatrical moments that audiences take for granted in non-Fringe performance. By all rights they shouldn’t happen, and yet they surely will. One of the main things I loved about that pirate queen show last year was the ingeniously economical way it dealt with  technical constraints.

So if you see something during Fringe – a sound, music or lighting cue that works perfectly, a costume that wows, even a bit of stage blocking that speaks volumes – tell us about that moment in the comments.

And if, while out Fringing, you should happen upon some crew member looking particularly harried/sweaty/beset by vermin, buy ‘em a drink.