Running a summer theater when a week before the season opens you're forced to turn the heat back on in the house is a whole other level of difficult. Once the internal temperature of my carriage house fell to 55 my cat, Max, let me know that he wasn't having it, and I had to face facts. Spring hasn't sprung in Trevortown.
It's amazing, really. 55 three months ago meant opening your coat and leaving your gloves in your bag. But that was February, and this is May. May calls for light coats, gloves finally being put away, and sandals. That is, unless you live here in New England, especially on the coast. Even with all caveats, though, this has been a chilly spring overall. Even the green is muted so far.
What does that mean for a summer theater? Well, first of all, we need to get in touch with the high school and come up with a plan B (moving into their theater) in case it gets worse. After last year's A Christmas Carol debacle none of us want to go back there too quickly, but a general manager has to plan.
Next up, we send out emails to our intrepid audience members, and suggest they dress warmly and bring layers. That always gets a great response. The first two weeks of the summer season are previews, and mostly a core group of locals come to see us all shake out the winter webs before the summer season kicks in.
As a matter of fact, a few of our longtime subscribers, and donors, hatched a plan after looking at the almanac. They've been making fleece throws. You know the type, where you get two pieces of fleece, cut the edges into fringe, and tie the fringe together in knots. They suggested making them available for rent. I laughed at the idea, but now am grateful that the cranky Yankees who help keep us running ignore me when it comes to matters of the concession stand.
Speaking of the concession stand. We've got three different cocoa recipes that can be made in large batches. It depends on who gets to the kitchen first as to which one will be served on a particular evening. For audience members in the know, the first question to ask is "who made the cocoa?" Looks like we'll need lots of that this season.
All I can say is this--I'm glad that the first show has costumes that can be layered. That year we did the Shakespeare set on a Grecian beach in July? All I can say is that teeth chattering does not good Shakespeare make.
Now, I'm off again to read the weather report. After all, this is New England. If you don't like the report, wait five minutes.
----------------J.A. Hennrikus writes under several names. As Julia Henry, she writes the Garden Squad series for Kensington. The first in the series, Pruning the Dead, will come out in February 2019. As Julianne Holmes she writes the Agatha nominated Clock Shop Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. As J.A. Hennrikus she writes the Theater Cop Mystery Series for Midnight Ink, and has published three short stories with Level Best Books. She is an arts administrator and teacher in the Boston area. She a member of MWA and Sisters in Crime New England. She blogs with the Wicked Cozy Authors and Killer Characters.
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