Margy, the costumer for a local community theater, is confronted with the need to make a new giraffe head for their production. Coyote, a fashionista, has demanded her costume be cleaned before she wears it on stage, and Crow constantly complains his costume, the only professionally-made costume among the cast, “doesn’t have enough feathers.”
“It’s a Local Production”
I had hoped the giraffe head would do for the production – Bronx Zoo – without too much fuss. But as I examined the head more closely, I saw the fabric was parting in several places. It might hang together if I lined it . . .but I could see the whole thing was on the verge of disintegration.
I felt bad. Giraffe was one of the few who didn’t complain unduly. He didn’t have many lines, and he always showed up on time for every rehearsal. More than I could say for many of the others.
I was always grateful that my mother had taught me to sew. You didn’t see that many people these days who could sew, but back in the day my mom made her own clothes, and mine too. That had been a lifetime ago, yes, before she’d gone into Memory Care and had to forget her knowledge at the command of an age-impaired brain. Still, the sewing did me well and I liked the way it made me think of her and the time we had together.
I studied the head. Maybe I could make a new head for Giraffe, replace the old worn-out version. The rest of the costume was new-ish. I’d lucked into a giraffe-print fabric on sale at Joann’s, and I still had some left over. Who’d have thought it? Giraffe prints were rare at fabric stores. You saw much more leopard or even tiger prints – but I’d gotten lucky with it.
I told Giraffe, “I’m sorry about this. I’ll see if I can rustle you up a new head.” The look on Giraffe’s face was worth it. He beamed.
“Really? Thanks, Margy.”
It was worth it. Giraffe had a small confidence problem. Probably being so tall – over six feet – and still only in his teens was a a big part of it. Seetha had been delighted to find someone to cast who was tall enough to “make a statement,” as she put it. The play was a parody, a social justice piece, Seetha insisted – a sort of new-wave Animal Farm.
I confess I didn’t get the connection. I’d read the script, of course, along with the other techs – lighting & sound, props & scenery (each one person to save money, but they got paid, while I did not) – and I’d heard the play in rehearsal. But it still didn’t make much sense to me. Each actor’s lines sounded like they were for a different play. I should say it may have been surreal, and I never “get” surreal things. It probably didn’t help that the playwright, who was “edgy” as Seetha put it, was someone whose work had never actually been produced until now. He had been a brooding presence at the edge of the stage, correcting the actors’ inflections of their lines, until Seetha had finally managed to bar him from the rehearsal hall, which she only did with Molly’s help. Molly, Stage Manager Extraordinaire, got all the dirty jobs.
My personal opinion is that Seetha might have cancelled the production altogether if she hadn’t already committed it to the program and publicized it as the finale to our season. I know it was a huge contrast to the usual community theater fare. My Fair Lady. Fiddler on the Roof. Carousel. But . . . well, let’s just say at this point the play was not something I was looking forward to.
Crow came by again. “Got those extra feathers yet?” he asked.
(to be continued!)
Previous parts of the story: It’s a local production-1
Oh! Poor Margy! She makes one cast member happy (Giraffe), but she’s still at the mercy of our complaining cast member, Crow. All for the love of theater and sewing. Will she give in to Crow? Will she prevaricate to evade his demands? Or, will she stand up to him?
What are your thoughts?