Written by Elena Sokoloski
Congratulations are in order to the cast and staff of, The Yeomen of the Guard, which opened this Friday to HRG&SP’s biggest audience in recent memory! The real stars of the show were the all of the fantastic kids who came to Saturday’s Milk & Cookies Matinee: Dozens of serious young audience members came, dressed in their best for the performance, and donning hard hats for a special backstage tour after the show. Star board member, set designer, and paint charge Sabrina Richert led them through the set, talking with kids from age 1 to 99 about the way that each piece was constructed.
It was hard to believe that just a week ago we were in the theater, struggling over how to put up a wall twice as tall as any of us, and balancing ladders on platforms to reach unruly lights. The theater stage is such a playful space, but often so inaccessible to all but the actors and technicians – to see our audience playing on it was so meaningful, as someone who had participated in its design and construction.
Some particularly adventurous audience members ventured over to the orchestra, where I’m proud to say we made five new percussionists that day! They learned about how I use the timpani and bell to create different sound effects during the show, as well as how hard it is to pick up the heavy cymbals! I’m always impressed by the questions they come up with, and the perspective with which they approach the show. One boy wanted to know why we didn’t have a saxophone in the orchestra (the others thought this would be a good idea, too), and another asked, very seriously, how we were able to see our music in the dark. Their curiosity reminded me of my own first times in the audience of a show, and, in retrospect, made the performance that much more special.