The Green Room at the Avalon Theatre is in the basement of the theater. Actually it’s a warren of hallways, small rooms, a single bathroom. There are steps up to a landing, then more steps up to the stage. It’s not at all like the green rooms you see in the movies where show girls sit in front of well lit mirrors.
Perhaps most small theater’s below stage space is like the Avalon’s.The first time I saw it I thought about all the famous acts and people who had inhabited these spaces before going up those very stairs to perform and wished it were less shabby. But it’s what happens above that’s important.
Next Sunday the space will be filled with kids and adults, racks of costumes, make-up stations and adults wrangling actors into groups to wait quietly on the steps for the next scene. A large white board will list the scenes and every person in each one. Adrenaline will peak as the call goes out. Fifteen minutes, ten minutes, five minutes. Line up!
Laura and I won’t be downstairs in the Green Room before the performances. We’d just be in the way.
But, here’s what I think will happen next Sunday. We’ll both be a bundle of nerves standing at the back of the theater as we watch the house fill. The opening montage unfolds, the audience settles, the curtain goes up, and the play starts. Our “hopes and fears” of the last few months will evaporate as The Santa Diaries unfolds.
The kid’s hiccups on stage will be adorable, seasoned and strong newbie actors will carry the show and the friendly local audience will love the performance. Everybody involved in putting on this ambitious project will go home proud of the result.
The next day we’ll all come back and do it again. The Green Room will be filled for two afternoons and five nights – seven performances in all. Proceeds of The Santa Diaries benefit the projects of the Avalon Foundation. Buy tickets.