The Hannah Callowhill Stage is currently a roofless construction site that cannot be described as a building, let along a theater, without some intense and stubborn imagination. Things are going swimmingly, though, and I don't necessarily mean because a recent deluge left a pond-sized puddle of water in the middle of the janky slab.
Yes, that's right! There is no longer a roof! Or any internal walls. All those months of desperate and occasionally tearful leak-prevention have come to an end, since there is nothing left to protect or keep from getting moldy. Everything had to go because 21st-century building codes and engineering concerns necessitate a lot of concrete and steel reinforcement and stabilization. Matt spent hours earlier this year turning the steel part of our plans into a SketchUp rendering so we could understand it in three dimensions:
|I helped to create this by sitting next to Matt and feeling stupid.|
|Photo courtesy of new friend, awesome harpist and fellow heavy equipment enthusiast Liz Huston.|
And we made the video at the top of this post of flying, dancing, swinging girders which I keep watching over and over again (the Benny Goodman helps).
In historical artifact news, while I was on-site a few days earlier, this happened:
Today, I was scrabbling through dirt piles @thehannahstage and found more sherds, including this piece GASP pic.twitter.com/ainhZhAg61— Melissa Dunphy (@mormolyke) September 9, 2016
I GASPed because as soon as I laid hands on it, I knew this was the missing fragment from one of our favorite finds from the privy. You can see the piece I'm talking about here in situ, a little mug-like thing with its handle poking out, right on the privy floor (it's actually a small pipkin):
Even when we pulled it out, we knew it was pretty great. Digger George who was with us that night giving support was fairly excited:
But alas, there was a small piece missing from the rim, and although we sifted through some of the dirt around the piece, we couldn't find it. Here are the lightbox photos we took after I cleaned it up:
I never expected to find the rest of it. We had no way of knowing if the missing piece had even gone into the privy: from the rust caked on the broken edge, it was clear that the pipkin was broken before it was buried and not as a result of our construction. But sure enough, miraculously, the sherd I discovered scrabbling through random discarded dirt piles was a perfect match, and this artifact is whole again for the first time in nearly 250 years.
And as a result: our second complete (but for a few chips) piece - and it was already one of our favorites. Pipkin! pic.twitter.com/nDUj2Pj1W5— Melissa Dunphy (@mormolyke) September 9, 2016
This thing is now probably worth as much as my car? Although to be fair, I drive a ten-year-old car. And of all the things that we found, I think this might be the one that I like the most, so I have no desire to sell. Like, one of these days I wouldn't mind finding a potter to make a reproduction of it, without the lead glaze, so I can drink my coffee out of it.