The opulent architecture of the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb belies the rather small backstage area, but somehow we all managed to fit into it, and since someone was always onstage, it was actually quite cozy.
It was just as well we got along as well as we did, since we had to be in such close quarters. It was a definite hive of activity, with everyone buzzing around, making sure to listen to what was going on in the show so that nobody missed a cue. And to the best of my recollection, nobody ever did.
For the always-tricky transition back to Kansas– tricky because certain Ozites have to become certain Kansans fairly quickly– it was decided with great ingenuity that the Ozite characters would record bits of their dialogue which would be played over and over. With this accompanied by lights, shadows, and sounds filling the theater, those of us who had to change could do so at a certain amount of leisure.
Performances went well and for most of them, the house was full. Audiences were, without exception, appreciative, laughing when something funny happened (well, usually), and many of them clapped or bopped along with many of the songs. We had the opportunity of visiting with the crowds after the show, and were always received warmly. Many children came in costume and were delighted to get their pictures taken with the characters.
There was a good deal more publicity surrounding the show than any in which I’d previously been involved. Besides the usual flyers and posters, some of the cast were invited to appear on a local radio show! The show opened with the host welcoming Gary, Ted, and me as our characters. He asked questions of the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion, then after the first commercial break he spoke to us as ourselves, along with some of the other cast and crew.
On the whole, the Stagecoach Players production was a joy to work on, with very little backstage drama and with a true feeling of community. Everyone looked out for everyone else and when it was all over, I don’t think there was a soul in that cast and crew who would not have liked to do at least one more week. As Raina put it, “We had a great cast and all worked really well together. I made some good friends and I think we ended up with a very good show!”
Gary echoes her sentiments. “Overall, I thought we had an excellent production. I thought the principals were very well cast, and we all worked well together. It is definitely one of the best productions I’ve been involved with.”
And I believe that our Dorothy speaks for everyone concerned when she says, “Honestly, it was a once in a lifetime experience and I know I’ll always remember it!”