Chicago Stagehand is a new non-union affiliated, independently owned and operated stagehand labor company based in Chicago. Having started operating in early 2009, the company reports it is now officially functioning and making formal introductions to lighting, audio, staging, scenic, and full-service production companies in the US and Canada.
The company is focused on servicing major and mid-level production companies for short term projects in hotels, convention halls, and venues seeking basic stagehand labor. Founder David Eaves notes that Chicago Stagehand is in no way affiliated with IATSE Local 2 or any other labor organizations. "We’re a company made up of mostly recent college and university graduates with a handful of veteran corporate guys to guide the ship," says Eaves. "Most of the clients we’ve serviced are seeking reliable and friendly help in moving and setting up gear by guys and gals that have a basic understanding of event production, lights, audio, video, and staging. We charge a fair price with simple working terms. We don’t do meal penalties or apply surprise fees or hidden charges."
Chicago Stagehand has one permanent concert account with the Horseshoe Casino (The Venue) in Hammond Indiana, where it supplies stagehands, runners, and wardrobe crew for concerts such as Kenny Rogers, Alicia Keyes, Paul Anka, Bette Midler, and Liza Minnelli. Eaves notes that his company was built around this account. "They needed support for their live events, and after a few negotiations with their general manager, I founded a labor company to service their events," he says. "The group of stagehands that we pulled together worked so well as a group I decided to pursue other work so here we are."