Pick a card, any card.

At this morning’s student matinee, we had an understudy go on. Now, we’ve gotten used to this: Jeff Withers has been recuperating during student matinees of late, and Matt Pierce has been acquitting himself quite nicely in Jeff’s place. However, today, Jeff was in the show for his first student matinee. In fact, the missing party was Heather Lea Anderson (Lady Percy), who was called out of town for a family emergency. Courtney Marie Jones, her understudy, was prepped and ready to go, but who was Courtney’s understudy?* Allison Mary Forbes, recognized by Milwaukee Shakespeare audiences as Perdita in The Winter’s Tale and one of Macbeth’s Witches, was given the script and learned Lady Mortimer’s song and lines, both in Welsh, in two days. They had a put-in rehearsal on Sunday, and performed it today. Nicely done ladies.

On Thursday, we will again give Jeff Withers the morning off, so Mr. Pierce will again be on. It’s unknown if Heather will be able to rejoin us by then, so possibly, Courtney and Allison will both be covering as well. Next week, Chase Stoeger (Prince John) is out, which we have known from the beginning would happen, because he has to go rehearse another play. Chase’s understudy? Matt Pierce. Here’s the wrinkle: in the event that Jeff re-injures himself, and Heather is still away, we go to Plan X — Matt goes in for Jeff, and Tim Linn (who normally plays Mortimer) goes in as Prince John, while Courtney covers Heather and Allison covers Courtney.**

For what it’s worth, Matt Pierce is also my understudy. And Patrick Lawlor’s. We are forbidden to take ill before we close. We are forbidden to leave plastic bubbles before we close. Meanwhile, Stacy Hicks was feeling like the walking dead today, and he doesn’t have an understudy.



* Actor’s Equity requires that all Equity actors be understudied, but there are no rules regarding non-Equity actors. Because smaller regional theater gigs are relatively short runs (4 or 5 weeks), producers usually take a gamble and understudy the Equity actors with non-eqs in the show, and don’t worry about replacing the non-eqs because the likelihood of putting the understudies in is low. 99 times out of ten, this strategy will work. Unless your show is cursed.

** My wife has seen the show twice, and doesn’t plan to see it again. She will make the trip up from Chicago, though, if Plan X goes into effect.


3 Responses to “Pick a card, any card.”

  1. 1 psuozz
    May 9, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Thanks Stacy for soldiering on yesterday. And Patrick and Matty – I’ve got lots of bubble wrap at my house. You can just wear it around for the remainder of the run! Maybe then I’ll get some sleep. For those of you who don’t know who this is – I’m the Artistic Director – Paula Suozzi whose job usually eases up when a production opens. With this one – the closer we got to opening, the harder my job became!

  2. 2 kbgodfrey
    May 9, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Matt, you should know better by now. No mentioning that this show is cursed without knocking on everything wood in a one mile vicinity.

  3. 3 hsm24
    May 10, 2007 at 10:21 pm

    My goodness, be safe and healthy, y’all! Just think, though, how much experience you are gaining in flexibility, thinking on your feet, not getting stale on a part, and even better, knowing the ENTIRE play because you must pay attention to so many other parts in so many new ways. Well, actors do not have boring jobs, do they?

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