I knew Heidi was in trouble — not the character Heidi, nor my adaptation, but the production. My production of my play. My play was in trouble.
I had allotted two hours for rehearsals with the schoolchildren playing Heidi and Clara, but it wasn’t enough.
I had rehearsed Captain Louie with two-hour rehearsals over two weeks, trying to keep to an Equity schedule, to see if it was possible. (The actors’ union only allows two hours of rehearsal if the players are already performing in another production.) And that amount of time was possible with the Captain Louie cast.
But for Heidi, I hadn’t factored in the double cast, nor the fact that children have a lot going on (notwithstanding the Christmas holidays), so learning lines was not a priority. So there I was, come a Monday before a Saturday opening, with disaster looming and no way to figure out how to solve my dilemma.
And then school was cancelled, and the children could come to a rehearsal. They packed bag lunches and stayed all day. I’ve lived in fear that snow would cancel out the show. I hadn’t a clue that an ice storm would give me the added time I needed to pull the fat out of the fire. But a higher power was at play.
When we opened Saturday afternoon, I received the greatest compliment — nobody got up to … They all sat enthralled (my word) for the entire performance, and then they gave the cast a standing ovation.
Snow did come, as I had feared, dreaded, yet predicted. My friend Ted Jones calls what you planned for which never happens — or what was certain to occur but doesn’t — “the trickster.”
And “the trickster” was at play. I awoke to check the Snowbird report; Montgomery County was out, but not our Friday morning audience from Clarksville Academy, which had announced only a two-hour delay. The day before, their contact had said that if the Academy were to start late, we would still be a go. But “the trickster” reared its head, and Clarksville Academy changed its mind, deciding to cancel after all. “The trickster” had come, and we were out a performance.
Back in the day, I would bounce off the walls, not knowing what to do and thinking only of the missed opportunity and lost income. But the Academy rescheduled, so all is right with the world. I am reminded that two years ago, seventeen daytime performances were cancelled. So, one so far is not a bad thing … but we are only now slightly into Month Two of the winter.
If you are coming to “Martinis with Patsy” next Saturday, February 9, you must confirm your reservation no later than next Monday. And if you are planning to attend our dinner and theatre event on Saturday, February 16, with Edward’s Steakhouse at 6pm and Always…Patsy Cline at 8pm, you must confirm your reservations with us no later than Monday of that week.
See you at the theatre!