COLLECTIVE: THEATRE MISHAPS (PART TWO)

WHAT IS YOUR FUNNIEST / CRAZIEST THEATRE MISHAP STORY?

(Some of these stories have been re-written / re-worded for clarity sake.)

 

#1

When I was 14, I played Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. In one scene, I had to open a ledger and peruse through it. For the last performance, the stagehands pasted photos of morbidly obese nude women onto the ledger pages, kind of like what you would see on “adult” greeting cards at Spencer gifts. I had a very tough time keeping a straight face.

#2

I was in a show that was very dependent on the timing of the sound cues in the music. Opening night, we were at the very climax of the show when the wrong music started playing. No one knew what to do because we were waiting for the sound cue but we were also supposed to be in real peril. So for a full five minutes all of us were yelling “Oh no!” As we stood awkwardly in our places.

freeze

#3

I ran lights for footloose and hit a cue too early… the cast had to do the last 5 or 6 seconds of a song in the dark.

#4

I did a monologue for a… “scholarship program” (read: beauty pageant). The mic went out for my entire performance. They rushed me offstage, gave me a new mic and sent me back out to reperform for the judges. But since I was being judged, I couldn’t do worse cuz then they’d see I let the tech difficulties get to me but I also couldn’t do better to show I had nerves the first time…. so I had to perform identically well… most stressful/weird performance.

april

#5

One time during Romeo and Juliet, Tybalt’s pants ripped completely open down the side. It was during a fight scene so he couldn’t even fix it.

#6

When I was Long John Silvers years ago, I had my leg in a sling so it looked like I only had “one leg” as the script goes. One of the barmaids spilled a bit of water and as I went across the stage my crutch slipped on the water sending me flying across the stage into the pirates.

crutches

#7

My best friend had written a monologue for his drama class in high school. The monologue was a crazy and violent guy who was yelling to himself. I remember one line was, “You should have taken your pills today now you’re going to have to hurt someone!” He stayed after school to practice and a teacher in the other room overheard him. She was FREAKED OUT. She got the Vice Principal to go talk him down and they almost called the police!

#8

This is not me personally but a young lady I knew was playing Kitty in The Drowsy Chaperone. During Toledo Surprise, she fell down and ended up fracturing her wrist. It was closing night and she still had to finish the second act.

ouch

#9

This one wasn’t during a live performance, but one time after a play I was joking around with my friend. I was trying to be “sexy” and I seductively wrapped my leg around one of the doors on set… only I didn’t know that one of my fellow actors was on the other side. So I accidentally creepily wrapped my leg around him!

#10

When I was in Hamlet, Hamlet and Laertes had a fight in the graveyard involving a pickax. Long story short, Hamlet got a pickax to the head. I didn’t realize what had happened because his back was to me. He fell forward and I rushed forward to grab him like I was choreographed to do and I remember thinking “that’s a lot of blood.” He cut his monologue short and rushed offstage. He and I had a scene together immediately after that and he came on holding a wad of paper towels to his head. We spent the scene taking turns holding the paper towels to the gash. He finished the show and then we rushed him to the hospital where he got 10 stitches. No more pickax after that.

 

Yikes! Stay safe thespians.

The Puppet Switch

This is my all time favorite theater mishap story to tell. I can’t help laughing anytime I think about it.

So I was in this darling children’s play. My friend had written a stage adaption for the children’s book Ferdinand the Bull. And in this play, we had puppets. When the bull characters are kids at the beginning of the play, they are portraited with puppets. The actors would be on stage with our little puppets walking them around… almost as if we were out there playing with stuffed animals (just to give you the idea). Then at the very end, we would get into our full bull costumes in order to become ‘the adult versions”.

super cute
This…
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… to this.

It was a day play. And since we performed for school kids we typically held shows in the morning. One of my fellow actors had a night job as a security guard at the time. We’ll call him… Ryan, or something. So more often than not, Ryan would work a graveyard and then come straight to the theater right afterward. So in his defense… that would make any human being just a wee bit more than loopy!

I was supposed to come barreling out with my puppet (Torpedo) run him around the stage and start fighting with Ryan’s puppet. We had this like goofy little fight choreographed where the puppets got up on their hind legs and kick each other, spin around and flip! It was really cute and the kids loved it.

So I get ready to bust out through the curtains like any other day. I hear my cue. Bam! And what do I see? I don’t see Ryan with a little puppet. Oh no. I see Ryan in his grown-up bull costume on all fours.

Ummmmmm kay.

There was this weird moment where the play just froze. I completely stopped dead in my tracks and stared at Ryan. Ryan looked back at me with this freaking unforgettable face. His smile said this is perfectly normal. But his eyes said I’ve made a serious mistake, please help.

help

Um, the show must go on, I guess? I kept going with the scene. I ran around and fought Ryan with my puppet. Everything that we had blocked out with these little toy puppets, he now had to do himself. I can’t even begin to tell you how awkward that was. Slamming my little-stuffed animal into his head and him like wiggling his arms and batting the puppet around. I don’t know how it was even possible to keep face and not laugh at how confusing this must be to the audience. Like, why?? What is the artistic direction in this? Why are these kid bulls hanging around this creepy adult bull? I don’t even know.

The best part is, he was in too deep. He couldn’t even fix his mistake, because now the audience thinks that’s part of the show. He had to do THE WHOLE REST OF THE SHOW in this adult bull costume that’s only supposed to be at the end. Every weird thing we had blocked with the puppets, he had to try to mimic.

… Whenever I have a bad day, I just think of this.