Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Nativity Vol. II: The Woman Lost at the Well

My second night of the pageant was on Tuesday. Upon arrival, I spoke to my director, and got an unexpected surprise. Apparently a few of the townsfolk hadn't shown up due to illness and they were shorthanded. Brant asked if I wanted to fill in. As much fun as it was to clonk myself in the face on Sunday, I was ready for a change, so I jumped at the opportunity.

Things got interesting starting in the costume trailer. The woman I was filling in for is over six feet tall. I am 5'6". You can imagine the fun the the costume mistress had making that work. What was even funnier was the other person who had called in sick was a little girl, yet the only person they could get to fill in for her was a guy a few years older than me. If my costume looked funny, Marvin's looked even better.

Then we got to our directions. Brant promised to show us what to do before the show started, but his idea was to say:

"Come in here, here, or here sometime in this two minute span of music and like you are in a town (????). Leave the stage, but come on again and keep the set busy. Oh, and you should pay your taxes to the Romans. Keep the line busy so there is always someone in front of Mary and Joseph. When Joseph starts knocking on doors, you should be off the stage. Oh and don't forget to come on for the finale."

Lucky for us, I had seen the show through once so I knew how it was supposed to look. Otherwise I would have had no idea what to do.

At the cast meeting the propmaster came looking for me and wanted to know why I hadn't taken my pitcher for the well. Was I not playing the role of woman at the well? Not that I was aware of, but thanks for letting me know. At least I had a starting point now.

Through some deductive reasoning (ie. where other towns people were entering and which entrance was empty) my hubby for the night and myself were able to figure out where we should go on. Once on stage we moved very slow, puttered around at the well, paid our taxes and went into the inn at the innkeeper's gestured suggestion. Then we went on again as Brant had told us to do that, and walked across the town. We paused only when our fellow townspeople pantomimed speaking to us to drag out the time we had to fill.

The great thing about this pageant is that we have six performances a night, so even if you have no idea what you are doing on your first show, you can figure it out for the next, and continue to make it better until show six; when it is perfect. By the end of the night, Marvin and I had our role down to a science. I did not miss being an angel at all.

To make things better, I asked Brant where he wanted me for Thursday, and he said if I would rather be a townsperson, I could just stay there. The costume will be different, my role will be different, and I will have to improvise the whole thing again, but that is the whole fun. I cannot wait until Thursday.

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