The Show MUST Go On — Continuing Story. CHAPTER TWO.
October 31, 2018
Last month, we left Starr, Starla, Ms. Starborn, and the two cats in the dark. Literally.
… From behind them, the wobbling beam of a flashlight panned over the scene. Ms. Starborn cried, “What on earth is going on in here?” …
CHAPTER TWO — WAS IT THE CAT?
In response, Lady yowled again, and Sir raced off, stage right, in pursuit of … someone? Something? What?
Ms. Starborn repeated her question. Neither Starr nor Starla knew what to say. Finally, Starla said, “It was pitch dark when we got here, and Matt was nowhere around. When I heard Lady yowl, I came to check things out, and found the broken ghost light. Well, after I found the orchestra pit.” She rubbed her sore arm.
Stepping carefully through the broken glass, Ms. Starborn righted the fallen ghost light. “Well, we’re not solving anything standing here. There’s a broom backstage — it’s supposed to be one of the props for our show. Starr, you have a flashlight of sorts. Get the broom and clean up this broken glass. Then we need to find Matt and get the lights back on.”
As if someone had hit all the buttons on the control panel at once, every light, every spotlight, every floodlight came on at once. Lady raced offstage in the opposite direction to the one Sir had taken. Starr, Starla, and Ms. Starborn blinked to try to get their eyes to adjust to the sudden, overwhelming brightness.
Matt rushed onto the stage. “Sorry I’m late. Trouble with the bus, and they couldn’t get a new one to us to pick us up for half an hour. I was ready to walk to the theatre. What’s going on? Why are all the lights on? It was dark when I came in.”
Starla had to try twice before her voice would work. “You mean you weren’t even here? But the door was open!”
Starr said, “Right. It was stuck, but it wasn’t locked. And the breaker had been thrown or something. The lights wouldn’t work. We thought you were finding out what happened.”
“I only arrived as Starla crashed into the orchestra pit,” Ms. Starborn said. “I assumed Matt was here, too, or you wouldn’t have been able to get in.”
“I’ll go see about turning off some of these lights,” Matt said. “How could they all go on at once like that? There must be a short in the lighting board or something.”
“Or something,” Starla said. “I’m getting a spooky feeling about all this.”
“Relax,” Ms. Starborn said, sounding anything but relaxed herself. “How could there be anything spooky going on?” She rubbed her arms as if she were suddenly cold.
Sir slunk back from stage right, dragging something long and blood red, as if he were a panther in the jungle, dragging a kill.
Ms. Starborn, Starr and Starla all screamed. The unearthly sound sent Sir on a mad dash stage left leaving the thing, whatever it was, lying limp and lifeless on the stage.
Starla said, “I guess we’d better check it out.” She sounded as if she was waiting for someone to suggest they not do that. She took a step toward it. Starr and Ms. Starborn followed.
When they were close enough to see it more clearly, Ms. Starborn let out a whew of relief, and picked the thing up. “Relax, you two. Sir didn’t kill anything.” She held up a bedraggled red shirt, the flounces at the wrist hanging only by a thread. “This was supposed to be one of the costumes for our next production. The Pirate King was to wear this.” She looked at it in dismay. “I don’t think anyone will be wearing it until it’s had major repair work done.” She looked around. “Where is that cat? He’s supposed to kill mice, not costumes.”
Starr said, “Maybe it wasn’t Sir that wrecked it. And he definitely didn’t turn the lights off and on. Let’s check Wardrobe!”
Starla added, “Before the culprit gets away!”
The three of them raced to the room where all the costumes were kept.
Ms. Starborn’s hands flew to her mouth. “The costumes are GONE!”
To be continued on Wednesday, November 28…
Stage right, Stage left: Imagine you’re on stage, looking out at the audience. To your right is stage right, to your left is stage left. (Stage right is the audience’s left, and stage left is the audience’s right!)
Spotlights, Floodlights: There are many different types of lights used in a theatrical production. Some flood the whole stage with light (floodlights), some concentrate all the light on one performer (spotlight), some create soft glows, or color effects. In this story, everything lit up at once — lighting chaos!
Lighting board: All the lighting for the play — the spotlight, the other stage lights, are controlled from large boards covered with buttons. Here’s a video from the National Theatre in London, England, that shows you how large and complicated lighting boards can be. (The Starborn Revue Theatre’s lighting board is not nearly this impressive!)
Wardrobe: Although in houses, especially where there aren’t built-in closets, a wardrobe can mean a freestanding closet-like piece of furniture, in the theatre the term refers to the room (or rooms) where costumes are created, mended, washed, ironed and stored, along with wigs, hats and other such things. (In the Starborn Revue Theatre, it’s just one room.) Here’s a great video made by a wardrobe technician in New York City, which not only shows what the Wardrobe Department looks like, but gives you a good idea of all that Wardrobe does, and what it’s like to work backstage.