A beloved stagehand known for his work on the Broadway stage tragically died falling 50 feet to his death from scaffolding while working on a restoration project at the Winter Garden Theater.
The incident happened at 8:45 a.m. Thursday when Peter Wright, 54, fell from the scaffolding he was standing on while working on restoring the storied structure located on Broadway and West 50th Street. Medics rushed him to Mt. Sinai Morningside but he was unable to be saved, the New York Daily News reported.
Friends, relatives and colleagues paid tribute to Wright, who was described as “a talented and skilled craftsman with an exemplary work ethic.”
“Pete was a force of nature, often doing the work of three men,” said Dylan Foley who posted a tribute to Wright on the stagehandglossary blog. “He had a dry wit and an unstoppable work ethic. If you asked for something from Pete, his line was, ‘For you, the grid’s the limit.’”
For his fellow stagehands in IATSE Local 1, Wright was admired and stalwart at his craft. He worked as a flyman for many years at the August Wilson Theatre near West 52nd Street and Broadway, the newspaper reported.
Colleague Raymond Pesce said in a post that he once spent an entire day with Wright and it will be a memory he will always cherish. ”We hauled bricks and arbors. Long, hard day but it seemingly passed so quickly because he was so pleasant to work with. This hurts every one of us.”
James Claffey, Wright’s union president, said their union is in its darkest days with his passing. “The grief for many is unbearable,” he said. “He [Wright] was one of the finest riggers/flyman in our industry.”
To remember his commitment and contribution to the theater, the owners of the Wilson Theatre, Jujamcyn Theaters, illuminated the marquee of the theater for the duration of the weekend in Wright’s memory, reported the news outlet.
Marcie Lowy-Wright, had met her late husband at a “Grease” revival at the Eugene O’Neill Theater, the newspaper reported. The couple had two sons.
On Monday, Lowy-Wright changed her Facebook profile to a picture of the couple smiling together during happier times.
The Winter Garden Theater was most recently home to “Beetlejuice,” before Broadway shows were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Broadway performances are set to resume in May of 2021, the outlet reported.