This is a phrase I have grown up with since I began my theatre career at the age of 7. We were taught to let go of what was going on around us and remain focused on the job: to transport our audiences to a different place.
There have many times that either I or my colleagues have performed in shows with fevers, stomach viruses, gall bladder attacks, recent loss of a loved one, and in the middle of some intense storms among other anomalies.
But now as a Director, I am faced with the phrase The Show Must Go On and wonder how far is too far.
While I prayed and read and watched the news to see when the snow was predicted to come in, at the end of the day, there was nothing I could do to change mother nature and the inevitable snowfall happening all across Middle Tennessee. Friday morning, I stood at my window looking at a large amount of snow that had arrived much earlier than predicted. I thought of the many times that I had done shows in NYC when there was more snow and ice.
There is more to canceling shows than just declaring that we are canceled. Even the idea of having to cancel the shows and reschedule was more than overwhelming. The rescheduling of a show requires coordinating the schedules of at least 12 people including the managing staff of the Franklin Theatre, the technical team, stage crew, and the Act Too staff. We had to look at open days at the Franklin Theatre and work around other rentals who have already booked the space (we book space at the Franklin Theatre 9 months in advance). After those hurdles have been cleared, we then have to consider what is best for the students and their families. I had to cancel my own plans to spend next week in Gatlinburg. I was faced with how to best make the call: Does the show go on?
The performer side of me screamed “YES" while the Director/Teacher/Mother side of me new the cold hard truth, “Of course not. How are performers going to get there? Who is going to brave the snowy hills to come and see it?” How can I get the Uhual out of my driveway without crashing? So with a cool logic, I realized that the Show Will Go On…Later.
I hope that many of you are able to come out and support these kids. They had great audiences lined up this weekend to support them.
In a time where everything happens instantly, sometimes having to wait seems impossible and insurmountable. And yet, this sudden gift of time reminds me that what we do is worth the wait!
I enjoyed spending the time today sledding with my kiddos and trying to build a snowman (unsuccessfully).