64 Memories of the 64th Season

In honor of the Huron Playhouse’s 64th consecutive season, I have compiled a sampling of 64 memories I enjoyed this summer during my time as company member. Happy reading!

  1. Jann’s pitch to potential company members at auditions: “We have fresh strawberries and a chef on staff!” Oh yes, definitely my deciding factor in coming to Huron
  2. Dancing and relaxing on the rocks of the Huron beach on our first day
  3. The endless cycle of auditions…auditions…and more auditions:
    1.  The dance call when all the girls miraculously got their splits… and couldn’t walk for days afterward
    2.  Endless renditions of “Happy Wedding Time”
    3. Dylan Passman’s show-stopping,  quarter note version of “June”
  4. The nightly search and rescues for Piglet at Woodlands
  5. Heather Motz’s bravery at saving various parties from kitchen crew, and Jim Williams’ perpetual grimace at her wonderful laugh
  6. Looking forward to Schyler Graham’s clever strike titles
  7. Dance/jam sessions in the shop with Bry Bauman!
  8. Waiting to see what Ella Stickradt would break next
  9. Learning how to use a table saw and sewing machine, both weapons of mass destruction
  10. Emerging from the shop as sawdust mummies and praising Jesus for our amazing showers
  11. Listening to Davy Davis describe his evil plan of penguin domination, which culminated in a Happy Feet dance-off for the astounded Jim Williams, happily clutching an enormous cement penguin
  12. Being rescued off the storm-ridden streets of Vermillion by a hero lady mayor during a poster run gone wrong with Lauren Rainey
  13. Surviving another outbreak of storms whilst cowering in Woodlands with terrified company members, all of us comforted by Brady Miller calmly saying, “That’s what happens.”
  14. Meeting wonderful and enthusiastic donors at the Paper Moon cabaret
  15. Practicing “The Shriner Ballet” for the first time and standing in for Emily Casale during the lifts: “Mama doesn’t have her left”…”Shake it off!”
  16. The full moon of Birdie rehearsal involving three cases of concussions and falls…ouch
  17. Performing a straddle split across two aisle seats for Jim Williams before a Birdie show– I still haven’t seen the footage, JW!
  18. Experiencing the Huron blackout during Fox –that was not my fault this time!–and witnessing the entire stage management team, led by Maxwell Schnur, huddle anxiously around Frankie. SURPRISE! **blackout**
  19. Watching the upstaging antics of the Fox groupies and trying to anticipate what life-altering events would happen behind the double doors every night: “Challenge accepted,” Corley Groves
  20. Listening to Ellie Mallardie come on headset every night of Fox…and wondering how long it would take Ian Charland to fall asleep at the sound board before Devon King woke him up
  21. Walking past the cavalcade of quiet backstage knitters … and wincing at the piercing clang of dropped needles
  22. Watching Geoff Stephenson’s escapades on the bar of Nick’s and vowing to never to mix prescription meds and alcohol 
  23. Saying “YOLO” to anything and everything
  24. Many in-show moments, including:
    1. Waiting backstage during Birdie and hearing John Bacon’s joyous shouts of “He’s coming, he’s coming! Conrad Birdie is coming!”
    2. Watching Rachel Hull roll into successive splits every night of Birdie
    3. The insanity that accompanied “Honestly Sincere” each night of Birdie
    4. The audible gasps of patrons at seeing the “Telephone Hour” set, especially the sight of my leg in the telephone box at 180 degrees
    5. Hearing the audience applaud when the lights went up on the Drowsy set
    6. The spit take scene in Drowsy that was met with applause every night (with amazing scene partner JD Caudill)!
    7. The “Toledo Surprise” record skip that brought Drowsy audiences to a roar
    8. Ukulele Lil’s ultimate mastery of the Drowsy finale ultimo
    9. The Carousel clam moments: Ryan Andrews proudly presenting the bucket in “June” and JD Caudill’s diva, jazz-hands clam in “Clambake”
    10. The Carousel ballet in its entirety
    11. The finale of Carousel’s closing night, when there was not a dry eye in the house or onstage
  25. Listening to Ryan Neal’s ongoing commentary about the sorry state of the universe
  26. Hearing “Love, Erin” after every conversation with the beautiful Erin Brown
  27. After-show conversations with happy patrons
  28. Seeing my family and friends in the audience every closing night
  29. Taking stage combat to new extreme by actually punching poor Drew Wander in the jaw– and listening to the subsequent sounds of hysterical laughter emanating from the orchestra pit
  30. Jim Williams’ reenactment of the terrors inside the children’s green room
  31. Heather Williams’ adorable strumming of her new ukulele for company talent
  32. Taking on Toft’s ice cream factory with Kerry Glann
  33. Marveling at the video of Agnes deMille, but being mystified at Gemze de Lappe: “Don’t justify!”
  34. Hugs from JP Jones and Ron Ruble
  35. Daily conversations with Kerry Glann
  36. Praying that Dennis would return to relieve Geoff Stephenson of delivering the Theater Minute
  37. Wondering which unfortunate soul would be next on Amanda Gerhke’s list of lost and found items…and wondering how said list disappeared from the production office mid-season…
  38. Donuts in the morning…
  39. The wondrous creations of chef Bob Muntz, despite the outrageous amounts of butter involved
  40. Amazing Mexican and Mediterranean meals made by volunteer chefs, including Becky Ray Koenig and Cynthia Brown
  41. Betting how long it would take before Michael Crowley played Smash Mouth on the jukebox at Nick’s…usually five minutes
  42. Brunch at the wonderful Marconi’s every Sunday
  43. The power outage at Marconi’s that one Sunday…but Jackie Gubow and I still got our salads!
  44. Venturing to Emily and Dave Casale’s stunning condo with the best intentions of watching Mean Girls… and talking all night instead
  45. Drom prom and all varieties of hobos in attendance
  46. ALL of the birthdays- including my 21st!
  47. Stargazing with Erin Brown until 3:00 a.m. in the Woodlands amphitheater
  48. Sailing on a pristine Lake Erie with the Koch’s on our last Sunday in Huron
  49. Succeeding in not getting sunburnt on the sailboat with Heather Motz, Dot Johnson, Ella Stickradt, and Caitlin Hamm, and treating ourselves to Pied Piper before sitzprobe   
  50. Christmas in July and the adorable personal gifts– my favorites: Sam Martin’s monkey, Dot Johnson’s inflatable duck, Heather Motz’s elephant, and Jim Williams’ growing penguin collection
  51. Seeing Geoff Stephenson model his knit-wear hat, made with love by Corley Groves
  52. Panera with Caitlin Hamm and Ella Stickradt
  53. Mega bed in the “Fancy Dress” room!
  54. Taking bets on whether places would be called each night
  55. Racing to the makeup room at intermission to enjoy much-needed air conditioning…and bemoaning the inevitable return to the backstage heat
  56. The outrage at the lone cell phone dropping to the floor during the children’s “Clambake” dance
  57. Hearing the ecstatic reaction of a patron over the phone when she learned she had secured the last reserved ticket for that evening’s performance of Carousel
  58. On closing night of Carousel, meeting the lady who played Louise in the Playhouse’s original production 50 years ago
  59. The sight of Jann Glann prancing around rehearsal in her hot pink Saucony’s
  60. The sight of Jann Glann brandishing a plastic hanger at a bewildered actors during rehearsal for the Carousel death scene
  61. The sight of Jann Glann attacking John’s birthday cake with a particularly sharp-looking serving knife
  62. Translating the verbiage of Jann-ese
  63. Jann Glann
  64. Everyone at the Huron Playhouse
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