"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Plans Gone Awry.....WIN!!!!!

Yesterday Lisa and I planned to drive to Loris, South Carolina to watch John in his final marching band competition. The weather was iffy, well, more like definitely crappy with rain pouring down at regular intervals, but in the past the schools had moved the show into a gymnasium in bad weather, so we thought nothing of it.

We've developed a little tradition while traveling to John's band competitions. Lisa and I like road trips, and these things tend to bring us to places we've not been before. We drop John off at his school early in the morning so he can practice and ride the band bus to where ever. His group usually performs in the late afternoon, so we have plenty of time to amuse ourselves during the day. We've gotten in the habit of leaving home early enough to explore the area hosting the competition a bit, and we try to find some local, interesting place for lunch. One of our favorite finds last year was in Conway, South Carolina on our way to Loris. We planned yesterday to revisit this little cafe, Crady's.

All was going just according to plan, we were sitting at a nice window seat in Crady's looking at the really cool community theatre building across the street when I got a call from John telling us the competition was canceled and the band was heading to Planet Fun instead. So we ended up driving quite a ways for lunch (which was GREAT, by the way), but we still had until early evening before we needed to retrieve the boy. No problem, we thought, we'll just drive around and check out Conway then head home and cuddle up under a blanket until John was done.

While we were there, though, we decided to go across the street and look a little more closely at this theatre, The Theatre of the Republic. We'd seen it the year before as well when it was running The 39 Steps a week after our own closed. This time Young Frankenstein was the feature. While we were looking in the windows the door popped open and a nice lady invited us in to look around. We said, sure, we'd love to see the inside and went on in.

Well, before you know it, this little old man came up, Lisa tells him I'm the president of Brunswick Little Theatre in Brunswick County, and he says he'd love to show us around. I was hoping to see the seating area, which we did, but then he proceeded to walk us up on stage, through a sliding hidden door in the back and proceeded to show us the whole building. It was great, the place is the Tardis of theaters, it's about 12 times the size inside as it is outside. I was blown away, I have theater envy, bad. Our friend Jen took us backstage at Thalian Hall a few weeks ago, and that was impressive, but this little 325-seater has MORE space backstage than that! They have a huge scenic workshop, a big kitchen/hang-out room, make-up rooms, costume storage and workshops, dressing rooms with showers (separate from the make-up rooms) and prop storage everywhere. They've been in this facility a while, so it's like a museum of all their past shows. Lisa was dying for a camera.

The fireplace opens up. It's cool.
In talking to our tour guide, we find the Theatre of the Republic is celebrating 45 years next year, and HE was on the original board! Kind of explains why no one questioned the two strangers wandering through the back stage area 45 minutes before curtain. He was a little, as Lisa said, light on the facts. "When did you move in here?" "Oh, a while ago." "How'd you come into this place?" "Oh, it just opened up." But he was a great tour guide anyhow and showed us everything we could have asked to see and more. Including two racks containing probably at least 80 tuxedos that had just been donated. Why doesn't that happen to US?!?!?

On our way out, we were deposited in front of the ticket booth to sign up for the email list. The FABULOUS guy manning the ticket booth was in the middle of a rant about the huge pain in the ass that is cast and crew comp tickets. The audience for this rant was a woman who, I discovered to my great delight, was wearing a "Frau Stage Manager" shirt. We bonded. We got on the email list. We made plans to invite friends back to see Gypsy this summer. We left a bit exhausted and with heads a-spin just as the audience was beginning to arrive. I love the theater community.

We headed home and realized that our change in plans meant we could go to the first meeting/rehearsal for Brunswick Little Theatre's Fezziwig's Ball and Murder Mystery (tickets on sale now!). We went to our own little theatre, we danced, we discussed costumes, we got assigned characters (I'm Mr. Fezz himself and very pleased about that; Lisa is Mrs. Cratchet), we discussed how to fit all that we do into our space that seemed so huge just a little while ago, and we left smiling and happy and looking forward to the future.

1 comment:

  1. I really was dying for a camera. The prop table with bloody limbs and a brain on it. Beautiful old furniture was stacked on shelves and in every corner available. There were rows of shelves filled with paint cans and tools. And there were racks of costume pieces that weren't even in the costume room, which, sadly, was locked. I just loved walking around that place!