Without work for a year, hope is growing among 'backstage ninjas' that they'll be helping entertain Spokane soon

Jim Volke’s pandemic souvenir is his 2020 scheduling book.

After March 13, 2020, it’s a calendar of events that never happened. Show after show crossed out.

“It is too early to be funny,” said Volke, a stagehand and lighting technician. “But it is stunning.”

He and about 60 other members of Spokane’s Local 93 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees marked a year without work Saturday afternoon with a brief walking parade from the Spokane Convention Center to the First Interstate Center for the Arts and back. Many of them pushed along their gear – much of which has been boxed, unlit or silent for a year.

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