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Theater Creatures

trans1.GIF - 49 BytesHere's a list of a few salient types from the world of community theater. Recognize anybody?

The Wanderer

The actor or actress with a bad case of impaired spatial relationship syndrome. Yes, the usually minor character you block upstage-right to get them out of the way, and who somehow still manages to wind up center stage at the denouement. These folks can cause more traffic jams than a six-car pile-up in downtown Manhattan.

The Voice of Experience

When an actor or actress begins most sentences with, "In my high school drama class we...", your show has been infested with the Voice of Experience. These "pearls of wisdom" will be blithely dropped into the brief interval between one director's note and the next. Unfortunately, most state game commissions still ban the hunting of these creatures, despite their overpopulation problems.

"We did it better at Goshawful Players"

This pervasive pest has a nasty case of "rose-colored" hindsight. Looking back on the nostalgic days of yesteryear, they are quick to point out that things were always handled better at the last community theater group they were a part of. Of course, after listening to them for more than two rehearsals or cast parties, one always get the idea that their last theater group bought them a one-way ticket to your town and you start to wonder what you ever did to the Goshawful Players.

The Fallen Star

This is a sub-species of the "We did it better at..." listed above. Prone to name-dropping and statements that end with, "Of course, we got paid there," this creature is always on the verge of finding a "new" agent and flitting off to New York or L.A. Most often, the closest this type has ever come to Broadway is balcony seats at the road show of Les Miz. Unfortunately, paying their fare to New York or L.A. is not only prohibitively expensive for a small theater group, this species also has at least a dozen reasons why "now is a bad time."

Now starring in the Late-Late Show...

So they were late to auditions... maybe they had trouble finding the theater. Then they were late to the read-through. "The dog was playing with my script... She was so cute, couldn't bear to take it away." Then it was the first rehearsal. "7:30? I thought you said 8!" As rehearsals continue, you hear that bankrobbers kidnapped the actor's mother, his car caught fire "for no reason at all," suspicious characters were following her and she had to "shake them." Finally, you had to make cast call for performances an hour early to make sure he/she showed up on time! Masters of the creative excuse, if they could put half that creativity into their characters, they'd be being late on Broadway instead of disrupting your rehearsals.

The Party Animal

"I hear you guys have great cast parties!" This creature, thinking there is no higher humor than the whoopie cushion, quickly becomes "cast clown." This one is often responsible for other actors breaking character or having hot flashes after eating the mints on stage. If your drunk gasps loudly and turns red in performance, chances are there was real whisky in his "whiskey" and your cast clown is backstage, rolling on the floor. Remember to count to a zillion and remove all sharp objects from the theater before discussing "professionalism in community theater" with your actor.

Bachelor(ette) Number One!

Single or newly divorced, this character shows up looking for love in all the wrong places... backstage, in the green room, at the makeup area, and especially at cast parties. Saltpeter works well.
If you've met a theater creature that you'd like to warn us all about, please don't keep it a secret. Send us a description and we'll post it here and credit you and your group. Heck, we'll even let you name the species! Anonymous submissions are also accepted.



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