The Huntington is known for their fabulous productions, well-acted plays, and beautiful sets. What goes on behind the scenes is equally important as what happens on stage. That’s why the Huntington is lucky to have hard-working and dedicated Larry Dersch as Master Carpenter.
Larry, wearing a plaid shirt and a smile and sipping on his mid-day root beer, exudes the persona of a laid back guy who knows what he’s doing and loves his job. As Master Carpenter, Larry’s job is to handle most of the finish carpentry, some odd projects, and he creates doors, windows, and moldings, he said.
Recently, Larry made the fireplace for Educating Rita, which he said was a lot of fun.
“It was really detailed and I had a lot of freedom to make it look really nice,” he said.
Larry said he also enjoyed making the double swinging doors for the main entrance and had fun creating all the windows for Bus Stop.
He also loved working on Vengeance is the Lord’s because of the many doors needed for the set.“I like doors, and having so many of them to make and work on was great.”
Overall, Larry said that there is a lot of variety in his work with each show. I work on totally different pieces from one show to the next because the designs are always so different. But for most shows there is always some little aspect that I get to work on and have fun with,” he said.
Larry has been working for the Huntington for 18 years. Even as a kid in St. Louis, he loved to build things. “I did theatre in high school and college, but that didn’t do it as a job after that. Then 18 years ago, a friend of mine who was working here told me they needed extra help.”
Larry's city of domed rooftops for the Huntington's Blue Demon (2003)
The Huntington, however, wasn’t what brought the carpenter to Boston. He had already been living here for about eight years before he began working for the Huntington. So if you see his rough hands, don’t necessarily write them off as the hands of a master carpent, because they are also the hands of a drummer. “I moved up here with my band, The Common Ailments of Maturity. We were going to become rich and famous,” he said, smirking. Larry still plays the drums with his band as a second job, and has worked venues as popular as the Middle East club.
So whether it’s doors, windows or drumsticks, Larry Dersch knows how to use his hands.