Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Places, Places: Celia, Calvin and Mariah



I sort of managed to get it into the actors' heads that our technical rehearsal was most important for the crew. Celia, our stage manager, would be giving standby and go cues to Mariah, on sound and Calvin, on lights.

Rob, Millie's dad, would oversee and train. Rachel, co-director, would stay at the back of the auditorium with this tight group as an additional helper.

Calvin's face was a combination of ashen and excited. His personal mission was to outdo his older brother, Anthony, who had been our lighting operator for two years. Calvin gently pulled out his chair and perused his lighting board. Other boys crowded around Calvin, looking over his shoulders.

"Boys, get back up onstage. This is Calvin's department. No one, and I mean no one — other than Calvin, Mr. Rob or Ms. Rachel — is allowed to touch that lighting board."

The errant actors scurried to the stage and Calvin gingerly placed his bottom down as if sitting on a golden throne.

Mariah pulled her chair back and looked over the sound board with its buttons and CD player. She picked up the two CDs my husband had made for us. One with pre-show music and one with show sound cues.

Both children knew exactly where to sit because Rob, in a stroke of brilliance, had printed their names on stickers and placed them in the appropriate spots. An eight-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy now knew they were official.

Sweet, as the other kids like to say.

I was onstage with the kids sitting in the horseshoe pattern that we always rehearsed in and they would now perform from. From my position I would dash around, filling in for our four missing actresses on their harbor cruise.

"Ready, Celia?" I called out.

"Yes."

I think she said.

"Celia, this is where you officially take over, so you will need to use your big voice, okay?"

"Okay."

I'm pretty sure she said.

"Great, so here's how it'll start: Mariah, you will slowly turn down the pre-show music and put in your show CD, I'll do my blah, blah, blah to the audience, then I'll turn out the house lights and Calvin, you will have the stage lights up. The cast will do the mottos, then you go to blackout, Calvin. Got that, everybody?"

The pre-show music I chose was the soundtrack to the hit TV show "Glee." The actors on stage rocked back and forth to the music and giggled at the lyrics, I bust the windows out your car....

Oh yeah, we're hip in the Shakespeare Club. You bet.

Blah, blah, blah...I had my audience chat down and, with a lurch in my stomach, I privately acknowledged that this was the beginning of the big release. The handover.

Soon I would be sitting out front, on my hands, doing nothin' at all.


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
When I wanted love is when I bought a new bird parakeet. It was blue and white. I use to open the bird cage and hold the bird on my shoulder. I loved it so much I wished I could be a bird. Sometimes I catch it with a towl when it flew out. Then my Dad bought another girl bird name Sammy. And they loved ech other.

Max and Sammy
Garth, 4th grade

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