July 31st, 2007

rent - vive la vie boheme

Potential disasters at a play performed outdoors

So, I'm writing a short story, a comedy of errors set in and around an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. (The setting is present-day-ish, North America.) The company are professionals if a little incompetent.

What I want to know is this. What can I feasibly have go wrong, on stage and backstage, that will annoy and stress out the cast and crew but that won't stop the performance or hugely affect the audience? I've read the Wikipedia entries on stagecraft and related, and on the Dream, but right now I'm out of bright ideas, and would be interested in personal anecdotes, if anyone has them - I'm looking to get beyond the obvious forgetting-of-lines, although that will, of course, happen. :)

In addition, I really would like to finish with my director getting knocked out. If it were an ordinary production I'd have someone drop a flat on his head, but that's not possible outdoors, is it? How else can I get the poor guy concussed? *g* Many thanks.

Edited to add: This is so great, thank you. (And quite apart from my query, the comments are a great read. :P)

19th Century Paris Pertaining To Phantom of the Opera

I'm trying to write a piece of fan fiction, (or Phan-fic you might call it,) but I'm experiencing some trouble in the historical details.
The story is based on Phantom of the Opera, sort of a mix of the 2004 film version and Gaston Leroux's novel. This would be 1870 Paris, France to put everything in context for those of you not familiar with the story. I have quite a few questions about France in this time period, and I hope someone can help.

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Hospital Treatment

Setting: Modern-day. Small city in Nevada, U.S.

An unidentified semi-conscious person is admitted to the emergency room of a hospital at night, with the following injuries: bruised ribs and one cracked one, broken nose, two crushed fingers, and a mild cerebral contusion (brain bruise), as some other minor injuries (cuts and bruises).

1. How long is diagnosis/treatment likely to take?
2. After diagnosis/treatment, where would he be placed?
3. If a relative shows up to claim him, would the hospital release the patient into the relative's custody or would they want the patient to remain for observation due to the cerebral contusion? If the patient was kept at the hospital, how long would it likely be for, and would the relative have to wait until regular visiting hours to go see him?

I've been able to find general information about the different injuries, but nothing specific about how long diagnosis/treatment is likely to take, or how long a patient would be kept for observation for a traumatic head injury. As well, most of my searches about hospitals and their areas/wards just gets me links to websites for specific hospitals, which don't really have the information I'm looking for.

Any information or insight would be greatly appreciated!
Fluffy Vulcan

Firefighting Goggles, Present-Day USA

I've tried google searches of fire-fighter equipment, and found out that there are goggles out there which are fog resistant and protect eyes from smoke, BUT won't actually allow one to see in a fire unless the wearer is crouching down below the smoke. 

I've also been talking to two friends on a fanfic list who have relatives who are retired firefighters, and I've gotten some conflicting information. I realize that it might be that the technology has improved since these people were on active duty. 

Basically, one friend tells me that firefighters are trained to search a room sightlessly because the smoke and flames would obscure their vision, BUT that night-vision goggles would work if they weren't so expensive. Infra-red would blind the wearer in a fire.

The other friend tells me it's the night-vision goggles that would be blinding and "heat-vision goggles" would be best. Is this the same as infra-red?

What's the correct answer?

Note: I should mention that this is a Batman fanfiction and the goggles would be "bat" equipment. I want them to be something available with existing technology,  but since we're dealing with the Wayne fortune, the expense is irrelevant. So if night-vision is technologically superior but would cost too much to be standard gear, that's not a concern.