Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And the rain came...kinda

Clouds rolling in...

So tonight the inevitable took place. We had to end Romeo and Juliet early for rain...kind of. This evening they were calling for a 60% chance of rain. From the moment we arrived we kept our eyes on the sky and on the radar. (Which I could monitor on my brand new BlackBerry...Yay!). Things were not looking good, but we hung tight and started the show on time. There was a little drizzle at the start, but the actors stayed in it and we continued all the way through the first Act.

Krista and Maria during the show. The clouds above were looking ominous. (Photo...courtesy of the new BlackBerry...yeah!!!)

We got to intermission and monitored things. It was looking bad. The wind was picking up and we could see some lightning in the distance. It still wasn't raining though and the time had come to start the second Act. I decided to go ahead with it, but gave the audience some instruction in case we had to call it.

Start of second act...

So, we began the second Act and at the same time began to pack up as much as we could with out disturbing the show. I watched the sky but just got too uncomfortable with the lighting flashes in the sky. I had just listened to this week's podcast of "This American Life" where there was a story of a fatal lightening strike. I went ahead and made the call. Brian rang the bell and I stopped the show. We ushered the audience, along with the cast, into the Tyson Auditorium in Benedict.

We pow wowed and decided to call the show. I made an announcement that we would allow any audience member to return to the entire show again or they could return at intermission for any of the future shows. Michael joked that this was the first production of Romeo and Juliet in which Romeo and Juliet did not die. Happy ending!

The audience was wonderful and understanding and we hope they join us again in the next few days. This was our first taste of the elements and how they effect outdoor theatre. After all this though...it just sprinkled a little. There was lots of sound and light...but no real storm before 10:20pm...the time the show would have ended.

This was a tough call, but the audiences' safety had to come first. I hope we have clear skies on Thursday and Saturday!!

Geoffrey Kershner
Endstation Blogger and Artistic Director

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