I wrote up Cirque du Soleil's Kooza from the front of house last week; on Saturday, Michael Wilder, Kooza's Technical Operations Director (pictured below at right), spent about three hours showing a group of my City Tech students around backstage, and all across the Kooza site on Randall's Island here in NYC.
Mr. Wilder and one of his automation techs (whose name I forgot, sorry!) took us all over the site, onstage (no pics because artists were training), and even under the stage. I've been backstage at many Cirque shows, both touring and permanent, but I had never been under one of the touring stages. We got to scoot down on a sort of mechanic's dolly, and look at the lift that shoots a performer up through the stage, and the whole understage world. While we were under there, the teeter board artists were practicing, and that was an amazing sound.
More photos here, and thanks also to Kim Scott, Cirque's Training Manager for Resident and Asia Pacific Show Divisions, and Alana Morgan, Mr. Wilder's Assistant, for all their help in setting up the tour.