Playtime Terror

Loco Viewpoint - Chris McKerracher is a columnist for the Pipestone Flyer

My life, for the past while, has been a heady mixture of hard work, great hilarity and abject horror, all leading up to last weekend. My theatre group, the Calmar Prairie Players, and I were preparing for the world premiere of my latest play, “The Crimson Cap Ladies Catch a Con.” In the space of ten days we had to; set up lights, paint scenery, build the stage addition, erect the set, have a technical rehearsal and a dress rehearsal, perform the show for three consecutive evenings, (including setting up tables, wrapping cutlery, laying fresh linens, and artfully arranging the candles, glassware and centrepieces before each dinner show) then tear it all down again, leaving the legion, by Sunday at noon, like it never happened.

It didn’t help that I was playing a woman in the show. In fact, after our dress rehearsal, I forgot I was wearing makeup and didn’t notice the eyeliner and mascara hadn’t come off in my morning shower. When Cupcake picked me up after work, the first thing she asked is if any of the fellas in the office had commented on my lovely eyes.

Actually, the whole cross-dressing experience was weird. I never expected in my life to use the words “my” and “bra” together. Clear cutting my facial hair left me feeling more exposed than not wearing pants which, of course, I wasn’t, since I had on a lovely frock instead. It was terrible, too, when my wig slid sideways halfway through an act, after a particularly energetic tussle trying to get an unconscious vacuum cleaner salesman up into a love seat (don’t ask).

Despite the embarrassing makeup issue after, our dress rehearsal was a real spirit builder. Still, we knew anything could happen, being live theatre. Despite four long months of twice-weekly rehearsals, we still hadn’t had a flawless run-through. The stupid playwright tended to write disjointed dialogue which is tougher to learn. The old saying, “It’s a different show every night,” may have been coined for us.

Thursday night’s show was almost perfect, however. It was a bigger confidence booster than our pre-performance tequila shot. Friday’s show, too, went off with few hitches; most, if not all, missed by the audience who don’t know what we are supposed to be saying at any given moment (like we actors sometimes.)

Finally came Saturday night’s big performance. After doing the play for four nights out of the previous five, we felt we were ready for anything. And we were, except for one thing; the first act.

I don’t know if it was the huge crowd, complacency in the cast that we knew what we were doing or some sinister force from beyond, but when we came out for the first act, things went seriously sideways amazingly quickly. According to our prompter, we appeared to be picking random sentences to say from various parts of the play rather than reciting them in the order they had been written in.

Somehow we kept the conversation going, thank heavens,  and there were no dead spots with drawn out silences accompanying deer-in-the-headlights expressions. When the act finally came to its cliff-hanger ending, the relief was palpable.

“We didn’t die!” was the joyous refrain from the cast. We had seen the abyss and lived to tell the tale. Surprisingly energized by our faulty first act, we redoubled our efforts and delivered the two subsequent acts practically word perfect.

This was a major accomplishment for me, personally, as I had a private crisis at the time. I’d been fighting the flu for a couple days and just before going on, I had to… well… pass a wee bit of wind. Unfortunately, it felt much damper than a blast of hot gasses ought to. I was terrified there may have been evidence of the incident left on my polka-dot undies which are fully exposed at one point in the play when I am rendered unconscious by a blunt force trauma delivered by a water jug-wielding septuagenarian. I couldn’t go onstage with bacon strips on my Stanfield’s!

Unfortunately, there are no bathrooms in our dressing rooms and a hall full of people between me and the public facilities. Luckily, a panicked check of my underpants revealed I had just been the victim of my over-active imagination.

In the end we were wildly applauded and aptly lauded. The cast had taken a play which was amusing to read and made it, by all accounts, hysterically funny to watch.

I couldn’t be prouder.

 

Just Posted

Unsightly premises fees added to County of Wetaskiwin tax bill

Property owner cannot be located, so contractor cleaned yard

Alberta RCMP reminds Albertans how to be ‘egg-stra’ safe this Easter

Put away phone while driving, plan for a designated driver

Wetaskiwin’s Leaders of Tomorrow honoured Apr. 8

Four youth impress the Wetaskiwin community

UPDATED Maskwacis-Wetaskiwin winner Wilson says Alberta wanted change

UPDATED Both Rick Wilson and Mark Smith had no trouble Apr. 16 with opposing parties

Kenney talks pipelines with Trudeau after election win, calls it cordial

Almost a year ago Kenney dismissed Trudeau as a dilettante and a lightweight

‘Open for business:’ Jason Kenney’s UCP wins majority in Alberta election

The UCP was leading or elected in 63 of 87 seats Tuesday night

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Undercover cops don’t need warrant to email, text suspected child lurers: court

High court decision came Thursday in the case of Sean Patrick Mills of Newfoundland

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Most Read