Anatomy of a Crisis (averted), Part 1
On Thursday, April 30th, I passed up my usual pre-show dinner of a sandwich from Kountry Kart and decided to go a little farther afield and try the dinner buffet at City Market. I had checked in with my stage manager, Jen, at about 5:45 and told her I was headed out to dinner and would be back in an hour or so.
At about 6:35, as I was walking down Church Street towards the theatre, I saw Corinn, our business manager (who was also filling in as a backstage crew person for that evening's performance), running up the street in my direction. I assumed she had been sent out to get a prop we were missing or something to repair a costume or one of the many other last-minute needs that can arise unexpectedly.
"Where are you headed?" I called to her.
"To find you," she said. "You have some decisions to make. Malachy has fallen and broken his leg. He's in the emergency room. What do you want to do?"
As we walked the rest of the way back to the theatre, Corinn filled me in a bit more. He had slipped in the shower of his hotel room, and fortunately his wife Diana had been visiting from New York and was there to call an ambulance.
It was about 6:40 by the time I got back to FlynnSpace. Jen informed me that none of the other actors had arrived yet, but that Craig and Haley had already gotten the news. The audience was due to start coming in at 7. We were anticipating a fairly small house (about 60 people), so my first impulse was to cancel the show, just to give us a little time to sort things out. Maybe the break wasn't bad and he would be back in a day or two, I reasoned.
Jen and I discussed whether it would be better to tell people as they arrived, or to wait until everyone was seated and tell everyone at once, in order to avoid confusion. Corinn suggested that all three of us should greet people at the door so that if one of us was giving the news to a person and someone new arrived, the next person would hear the story in full from another one of us, and so on.
As we were working out our system, my wife Kathy arrived. She heard what had happened, and what our plan was.
"Don't cancel," she said to me. "You do the role."