Show Must Go On

* The wind swept snow past the window as I took a phone call canceling the event we planned to attend Saturday evening. Thoughts turned to a young man I’d seen earlier in the week, sweeping artificial snow flakes from the stage of the Omaha Community Playhouse before another performance of A Christmas Carol. Maybe the volunteers who keep our theaters going came to mind because I was backstage that evening for a story about a volunteer who’ll soon step aside. Read about him in the next Reader. But the biting cold and whistling wind played a part: The phone call meant I didn’t have to brave the storm. Would the stage-sweeper, dressers, ushers and box office helpers face the wind for tonight’s show? I tried calling the Playhouse before normal hours, expecting a recorded message. No answer. The weather was mild Thursday for TAG (Theatre Arts Guild) Night at the preview of For Colored Girls (see review). And, for the first time in many visits to the John Beasley Theater at 30th and Q, the parking lot was full at the LaFern Williams Center. The families of cast members helped fill the theater with a crowd that included some who knew the woman pictured on the program with the dedication, “In the loving memory of Pasionetta Prince and all victims of domestic violence.” The theater community also knows her story too well: She performed in the earlier production of this play dealing with abuse and became a victim of its reality. There weren’t many TAG members in the audience, but one of the most distinguished, Elaine Jabenis, attended with Pegi Georgeson, an actor and retired drama teacher. And Jim Martin, retired from the Playhouse box office, manned the TAG donations container as a volunteer does each TAG night. Whether it’s the typical theater operation in Omaha with no fulltime employees, or the Playhouse with its large professional staff, none of it would happen without the volunteers. All who enjoy the talent on our many stages are blessed by the generosity of these helpers whose only pay comes from the satisfaction of serving the art they love. I called the Playhouse again a little later and a cheerful voice said, “Yes, the show will go on.” * This Friday at 9:30 p.m. is your one and only chance to see the Witching Hour Rumpus at the Nomad Lounge for just $5 to fund their upcoming show, Bitch. Rob Baker will emcee a cast of several.

posted at 01:39 pm
on Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

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