Yes, SK fans, today we start right off with theater terminology. As Little Women fans can attest, my sisters and I loved theater, and regularly put on shows in our dining room.
I wrote the scripts and played either the deformed female lead or the dudes. (Kind of a dyslectic early Shakespeare) my sister Anna, oh, my beautiful and perfect sister Anna, always played the leading lady and got the man. (The man she ‘got’ was a character actually played by a guy. She did not ‘get’ me. That would just be too weird.)
We even charged admission – 15 cents a seat, and all those proceeds were donated to Antislavery causes. Our parlor, which looked onto the dining room was packed. Our plays were quite good.
Nowadays, my old home The Orchard House, hosts a living history every December weekend leading up to Christmas. The story changes each year, but the cast is made up of actors and actresses who portray me, my family and our friends, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This year, a terrible thing happened. The actress playing Anna, could not do the Dec. 12 performance. The staff scrambled, then they were forced to turn to desperate measures.
They called Pub. How desperate was the cast? Well, Pub has not performed before an audience since the 5th grade. And that was a long time ago. And it’s not like she was a blossoming thespian then.
She debuted in 4th grade as one of four Christmas elves who danced across the stage to ‘Up on the Rooftop reindeer pause …’ How grateful we all are that videoing childhood performances was cumbersome in the early 1970s so we have no footage to share.
Later that same year, the music teacher selected her among many other short kids to play munchkins in the high school’ production of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’Again, no footage, but she often slips into singing ‘The lollipop guild’ when stressed.
Then she played a mermaid in a nonspeaking roll. Her exit stage left came a few months later as she tap danced across yet another stage as a space cadet. Can you find her in this pic? The answer is at the bottom.
Fear of being typecast – an elf, a munchkin, a mermaid and a space cadet aka things that don’t exist – Pub left the bright lights for greener pastures.
While still in search of those pastures, the desperate call came in. Would she play Anna? Just for one performance? Please! Please! Please! Puhleeeeeeeze!
Oh, the drama!
Pub of course said yes, found a costume that sort of fit in my closet, read through her parts and became Anna for the day. Minus one slight wardrobe malfunction – her petticoats were showing and Anna would never be unkempt – she did OK.
More importantly, she had a blast. Working with real actors and actresses was the best part.
Sadly, the actress who regularly played Anna is available for the final two productions. Too bad, Pub truly enjoyed getting out of her comfort zone.