A strike is the period of time immediately following the final performance of a show when the theatre crew dissembles, cleans up, and stores all props, scenery, and equipment. 
Personal Protective Equipment
The final show is finally over and you’re mentally and physically exhausted. You just want to go home because it’s really late. Just like any other theater procedure, safety needs to be carried out according to OSHA safety regulations and the venue’s safety regulations. Also, safety equipment, such as gloves, a hard hat, and safety glasses are encouraged.
A Typical Procedure
What does a strike actually consist of? All stock items should be cleaned or laundered, and returned to their proper storage location. All pulled props should be inventoried and then returned to their correct storage locations. Furthermore, all rented or borrowed properties need to be returned in the condition they came in. Any other props that cannot be reused are taken apart and become trash. This brings about the point of theater’s carbon footprint. Since it is often more feasible and inexpensive to destroy props, most of it ends up in a landfill. Therefore, it is our duty to think about what we use on our props as far as paint and other chemicals. If it is feasible try and reuse what you can or think you can. Strike isn’t just limited to props and costumes either. A strike applies to the technical portion of the show too. All the audio and lighting equipment needs to be inventoried and stored safely. This can include: lights, gobos, speakers, various cables, mixers, and any other technical portion of the show that isn’t associated with props and scenery. .
So how do you dismantle all of the equipment and props after a show? There are a few tools that are a must. First of all, a reciprocating saw is one of the most versatile and useful tools for striking a set. A hammer is another one of those useful tools to have on hand. For lighting and other technical applications, an adjustable wrench would be a good idea. Just make sure you have a lanyard or some other attachment so nothing is dropped from catwalks onto other workers below. Make sure that you use the tools with safety in mind, and that when you are done using them, that they make it back to their correct locations.
Although it seems like a strike could be utter chaos, proper organization is a key element to getting done safely and quickly. All strikes should be overseen by both the technical director and property master to make sure all safety procedures are followed and props get to the correct locations ..Furthermore, a prop list and inventory should be maintained and updated so any recent additions or alterations are known. By working in a controlled and organized mindset, dismantling a set after a show can be done in a safe and efficient manner.
- MW Dictionary: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strike
- Theatre Dictionary: http://www.theatrecrafts.com/glossary/results.php/
- Backstage Jobs: http://www.utproduction.com/UTProduction/Backstage/Job%20Descriptions/Props/PROPMAST.htm