A special treat today – Maggie Symington, a member of Geva’s Board of Trustees, wrote on her own blog about her experience seeing our production of To Kill a Mockingbird not once, but three times – in a row. Maggie was an audience member at an evening performance, attended a student matinee and also watched the show from backstage – a treat which she won at Geva’s Summer Curtain Call last year. And, she’s given us permission to share that experience with you. Here’s a quick excerpt from backstage – check out her blog for the full post!
Shortly before the performance started, we donned headsets (I was careful not to talk into mine!) and took our positions, Carolyn at a tiny black & white monitor of the stage, where she presses the buttons to make the scenery panels move, and I at her side (where I had a view of most of the action on stage, as well as the audience at the extreme house left). We listened as Frank Cavallo, Stage Manager, announced a full house and my presence to the crew, assembled the troops, and began calling the various cues for lights, spots, sound, set changes, and “auto” (the panels): “Standby lights 18… lights 18…go.” There was a bit of backstage drama as, between cues, Frank asked whether the actress who plays Mayella had arrived yet – she had been in a fender-bender on her way to the theatre! (Luckily, she did arrive, unharmed, in time.) Carolyn occasionally helped move or stabilize the sets, as when she held Boo’s house in place so that Jem wouldn’t knock it down when he hit it. During a particularly long cue-less stretch after the dog is discovered, there was a discussion over the headset about rabies in the Rochester area.
And, because she talks about them in her blog post, here’s a great production photo, featuring Erin Mueller as Scout and Harry Franklin as Jem.