The University Musical Society of the University of Michigan (also known as UMS) has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with IATSE Local #395. UMS is able to bring the finest dance, theater, and music from around the world to our community with confidence that our presentations and productions will be mounted and staged with the highest degree of knowledge, skill, and commitment to excellence because of our partnership with our IATSE colleagues. Our visiting artists and ensembles have universally high praise for the professionalism of our stagehands as do we at UMS who work with them in up to 75 performances a year. Congratulations as you celebrate 100 years of outstanding service to the performing arts in our community.

Ken Fisher, President
University Musical Society

True Professionals

True professionals in any field of endeavor make excellence possible. Congratulations to the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), Local 395 for providing excellence to the shows that have ”trod-the-boards” in the Ann Arbor area and beyond for the last 100 years.

The Centenary of IATSE Local 395 is indeed a landmark anniversary for all concert and theater lovers to celebrate. Talented theatrical workers, represented by IATSE Local 395, have earned a fine reputation in our community and with theater companies and entertainment endeavors that literally tour the globe. Ann Arbor based or trained stagehands are sought out to staff the tours of Broadway shows and all manner of first-tier touring concerts and events. This, indeed, in an outstanding legacy.

Because of the work done by members of IATSE Local 395 there is indeed, “No business like show business!” Thanks for sharing 100 years of fine work and support of the arts in the Ann Arbor area and beyond.

Russ Collins, Executive Director & CEO
The Michigan Theater

Congratulations on 100 years strong, from the entire team at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival!

The IATSE 395 has been successfully partnering with the Ann Arbor Summer Festival in the production of over three decades of performances in venues across the city and campus. We deeply value the experience, insight, and support the stagehands offer us season after season. From ballet with Baryshnikov to Argentinean tango; from the concerts of Johnny Cash to Harry Belafonte, Willie Nelson, Ella Fitzgerald, Devo, k.d. lang, and Andrew Bird; from the comedy of Bob Newhart and Lily Tomlin to numerous public radio shows, and even rigging contemporary circus from around the world, the local 395 make our productions run smoothly and the show curtains rise on time, night after night. We are fortunate to have the dedication and support of the best in the region. For this and more, we thank you.

Amy Nesbitt, Executive and Artistic Director
Ann Arbor Summer Festival

A2SO's Musings on IATSE Local 395's 100th anniversary

Putting together a live, symphonic concert takes the expertise of many: world-class musicians, inspired musical leadership from the podium, and a dedicated team of professionals who can provide the setting for the music to blossom.

We are so lucky to be working with the good people of IATSE Local 395.  Each person I have been lucky enough to work with has, first and foremost, the safety of the people on and around stage.

I’ve noticed deliberate care from the moment lights are hung, platforms pieced together, clouds and pillars locked into place, and chairs hauled.   Then, in an instant, there is the finesse of fine-tuning the lights, the sound, the spacing of the chairs, and the babying of a concert grand as it is nestled exactly into the right place so all can be seen and heard to perfection.

As Everett Armstrong has always told me, “it is all about the restore.”  With zen-like concentration, after the concert is over, the IATSE crew dismantles the magical space they just created and takes it back to a blank canvas ready to be painted on again for the next production.

Contemplating the 100th Anniversary of IATSE Local 395, there are goosebumps in thinking of the local, national and international performers and industry greats with whom they have worked.  Even more impressive is to think of the millions of patrons over the past 100 years who have experienced an extraordinary arts, cultural or business event because of their honest and exacting work.

The men and women of IATSE Local 395 are true professionals – those who do the amazing and yet make it look easy.   They take the complicated sequencing of events to produce a show and distill it to their own ballet of timing, grace and accuracy.

The men and women of IATSE Local 395 have championed our home town’s own resident professional orchestra and together our two organizations have grown.  Over the past 20 seasons I have worked with IATSE Local 395, I have discovered friends, not just colleagues. We’ve celebrated the arrival of babies, and mourned the passing of family together.  There is always a special camaraderie which extends to when we meet off stage – at the grocery store or bank for example.   I am proud that the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra and I are part of this 100th anniversary celebration.

Mary Steffek Blaske, Executive Director
Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra
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