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Share your theater horror stories!

Printed From: Community Theater Green Room
Category: Producing Theater
Forum Name: Other Topics
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Printed Date: 6/18/24 at 5:55pm
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Topic: Share your theater horror stories!
Posted By: jayzehr
Subject: Share your theater horror stories!
Date Posted: 10/31/14 at 6:16pm
This has probably been covered before but as it's Halloween and in the interests of provoking conversation:)

Mine is our production of Rumors which just ended.

We opened on a Thursday. After Tuesday night's rehearsal one of the actors had a heart attack and we had no understudy (it was hard enough finding enough men to cast the show.) Another actor was called in with the plan being that he would play the part holding the book. He did that for the dress rehearsal to which media had been invited to preview the show. With the obvious complicated blocking and rapid fire dialogue it was the roughest dress rehearsal I've ever been involved in.

Then at strike a door frame fell and hit one of the actresses in the head. She had to be taken out on a stretcher by the rescue squad and taken to the hospital.

The good part: She was OK. And the actor who had the heart attack most amazingly came back starting opening night and finished the show. The show must go on!

Posted By: hobbyactor
Date Posted: 11/04/14 at 3:18pm
Mine happened several years ago. It was the first show where I had a major role, but I was not on stage during the scene where the problem occurred. One of the actresses was really struggling with both lines and blocking. She had some trouble during rehearsals, but nothing like this. They finally got her off-stage and it was apparent that she was having medical issues. It turns out that she was having a stroke, although we didn't realize it at the time. Fortunately, her sister was in the audience and took her to the hospital. This was all during the first act, and we actually finished the night's performance.

She was not able to return for the rest of the run, so we had a replacement that used a script.

Posted By: edh915
Date Posted: 11/04/14 at 9:49pm
No major horrors in my history. Just the occasional missed cue.

I was in "Star Spangled Girl" once, playing Andy. The show starts with Andy entering his apartment, listening to the answering machine, looking through the mail, and then the phone rings and away we go with the play. Opening night (you could see this coming, right?) the phone didn't ring. Someone had pulled the cord. It was probably only a twenty second delay, but it was an eternity there on stage.

Another time I was in "A Walk In The Woods" - a two character play. In the middle of one of my many monologues, I got lost - couldn't remember what came next. I turned to my fellow cast member after a long pause and said, "Let me see, where was I?" - figuring he could help get me back on track. I'll never forget his response; a rueful smile, a shake of the head, and he very sincerely said, "I have no idea."

But, no sets falling down, no audiences walking out en masse, no falling chandeliers - Lucky me (so far).

Posted By: Fauxgoddess
Date Posted: 3/03/15 at 10:52am
I have a nightmare in progress. We are doing an intensely emotional play. We are 10 days from opening. My lead is VERY ILL and hasn't been to rehearsals all this week. Another of the actresses had something horrible happen to her family member, so she was in a hotel all weekend protecting them and is not quite off book. The other actress won't be back until two days into tech week. The play only HAS three actresses! hahhah. What're you going to do? I don't know, but I'm just praying it all works out.

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