For the last week or so, I get nervous every day around 4 pm. Not nervous, exactly. Just…tightly wound. Or tense. Like all my cells are standing on their tippytoes. My stomach aches, then relaxes, then aches again. I can’t concentrate on much. It’s not bad, really. Just mildly inconvenient.

Tuesday night we worked the scene changes. There are no musical interludes so we have mere seconds to change and get back on stage. It’s crazy fast. And dark. After I ran face first into another actor’s shoulder, we ordered/numbered our exits. And I put glow tape on the back of my black shoes to protect my poor ankles from getting run over by the other wheelchairs. We practiced the transitions over and over and over again. According to the director, we’re never fast enough. (Pant-pant-pant.)

My older daughter has joined the backstage crew. Of all my children, she is the least theatrically-inclined. She’d rather observe and listen than draw attention to herself. But then it occurred to me that those very traits are perfect for behind-the-scenes stuff! It took a little persuading to get her on board. I explained all the reasons she might enjoy stage handing and finished off my wheedling speech with, “I won’t make you, but I think you should try it. If you don’t like it, you’ll never have to do it again. And you’ll learn so much from the experience! Why not try something new?”

At home, though, it’s a whole other story. Drama-drama all the time.

She’s loving it. We might argue all day, but come evening, she’s a silent Angel of Organization. Between taking phone calls from the stage manager/sound tech operator, ordering actors into places, opening the curtain, pulling the scrim, making beds, and setting out the pill bottles and hats, she finds time to check up on me and rub my shoulders.

Rita, ready to go.

Starting tonightdeep breaththe show runs for two weekends: March 12-14 and March 19-21 at 8 pm, and Sundays March 15 and 22 at 3 pm. You can call the box office to purchase tickets, or just show up and buy them at the door.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (3.12.12), for all we know, and breakfast pizza.


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