Saying goodbye to our rehearsal room in Regina’s school the night before we transitioned to the performance space proved more difficult than I expected. I’d grown attached to that cold little room with the funky orange wall where I first got to play with these lovable characters and make friends with the wonderful people who portray them. I can’t help but miss the times when Toto was a rolled up scarf, Glinda’s wand was a meter stick, and the Tin Man’s axe was the other meter stick.
To cope I reminded myself of all the perfectly great reasons to move on into the real performance space. First and foremost, Jim and Olivia won’t be able to tease me for checking out my reflection in the windows anymore, those scoundrels. But in all seriousness, there is much to be excited about when moving into the performance space. We can finally get a sense of how big the actual stage is and what the heck Jim is talking about when he says “stand at the quarter line.” We get to start playing with lights and microphones. Set pieces pepper the stage, and we can now get a sense of how to use and interact with fences, blocks, platforms, houses, wagons, and giant green gates.
My nostalgia quickly dissipated when I set foot inside the beautiful theatre in the Arts and Culture center. Gorgeous! I slowly walked down the steps alongside the squishy red seats trying to pick my jaw up off the floor. “Hi Rachael, how are you?!” Anne asked me. At least I think it was Anne, I can’t be a hundred percent sure, I was pretty distracted. “Wow.” I replied. Whoever it was, probably Anne, then asked if I’d like a tour backstage. “Yes, yes, absolutely! Please. I’d love that.”
We snuck through a side door of the theatre into a tiny hallway where I could see Harold jumping up and down backstage with his usual enormous and contagious smile. “Hi Harold!” To the right of this tiny hallway there was a second tiny hallway which led to the dressing rooms. “Hi Mark! Hi Mark!” Then Anne told me we were doing some costume fittings downstairs and took me down where I found a room full of half dressed Ozians, Munchkins, and Jitterbugs. Our costume designer, Jenny, quickly shuffled me over to try on my dress so she could fit the straps. After the fitting was complete she handed me a gorgeous pair of sparkling ruby slippers and said I could use them for rehearsals. I never wanted to let those ruby slippers off my feet for a moment.
When we were done playing in costume-land I discovered there was another room nearby which was emanating piano riffs, trombone bellows, and violin purrs: the Orchestra pit! I peeked my head in to see them warming up with our fearless musical director, Gary Graham! How amazing! On this little adventure I found my way into the mysterious world beneath the stage.
“Everyone in places for the top of the show!” called Jim and we all scurried here and there giggling and smiling our heads off. Once we started to run the show upon the stage my heart started thumping so loud I could hardly breath—I am so excited to share this show with all of you, and I wish I could share it with so many people I care about back home, too. Tomorrow is our first dress rehearsal and I simply can’t wait to see it all come together with lights, sound, and costumes.
Make sure to come back to CornerBrooker.com next week for one last blog on The Wizard of Oz where I’ll try to sum up the experience and give you some fun insight into the shenanigans we got into backstage! Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great week!