Intern-al affairs - Keys upon Keys

We have a lot of keys at Lyric Arts. All of them are extremely important, and every single one has its place. Unfortunately, organizing them has never been high on our to-do list. However, with the large-scale reorganization of our office space, and our growing volunteer community, we decided that it was time to make it easier for our staff to direct our volunteers around the theater. It was time to help our volunteers in as many ways as possible. It was time to take a stand against the forces of chaos, and create a shining bastion of order and law in this uncertain world! It was time to sort the keys.

Those of you who have been into the administrative rooms of Lyric Arts may have seen our old key box once or twice. It was roughly the size of a hardcover book, completely packed with keys on every small hook within. Many keys just rested on the bottom of the box, without tags, key rings, or any indication of function. Our first step was to replace our old box with something a little more spacious.


We had this old metal mailbox sitting in prop storage, unused. It’s roughly twice the size of the old key box, and we purchased metal pegs to hot glue into the interior. We didn’t have enough pegs to completely fill the box, but we did have enough to hold our keys, and we’ll buy a few more on our next trip to Menards.

Step two of our reorganization was figuring out which keys fit which locks.


Over the past few days, our staff has been scouring the theater, looking to figure out where every key we own goes, and sorting them all onto key rings. That process took surprisingly little time, many of us knew our own key rings well, and knew what each key did by heart. By the end of the day on Tuesday, we had about ninety percent of our keys sorted and ready for step 3 – Painting.

In order to make office navigation a little less daunting to new volunteers, we decided to color-code our seven most-used keys. Our Master key is Red, the Box Office key is Blue, the key to the Costume Shop is Orange, the Sound Booth key is Dark Green, our ‘Cabaret Closet’ key is Yellow, the Administrator’s Office key is Lime Green, and our Dance Studio’s key is Pink.

The painting process filled our offices with nail polish fumes for most of the day on Wednesday, but we think that the results are worth the stink.


We attached small, colored dots to the doors the keys unlock, so opening a door is as simple as matching colors! Blue Keys open Blue Doors, Red Keys open Red Doors. It’s that easy.


And Voila! One beautiful box of keys! We think that having all of our keys organized and sorted is going to be a big help not only to the people who come to Lyric Arts every day, but also to new volunteers. We want to make the barrier to entry as low as possible for volunteers, and make it easier for them to share their talents to the fullest. And if our key rings get a little makeover in the process, that’s just a bonus!