“It’s a Local Production”-2 #tuesdayfiction

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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.”

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“It’s a Local Production”

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dgonzal111139/14243259087/in/photolist-91GJG5-g6mGpJ-nGCqGx-a2efqT-iToCuJ-onvtXa-9D4JcB-o1S3Uh-cAJyZ3-4PqEKQ-4KZCDh-9ZW2T8-dijmMe-4KZCt1-37abQc-5ecEXJ-6rehHL-eLTwd-dMkqdD-fpQw6Z-sWzVs-5dGH5J-d8dbY-cjqBVd-4XfFCg-8V4gqy-4gi2Ga-dbm37p-6BUkd7-dijkTQ-aJvXN-715oA1-5DGEt-a2eeKz-4KVnV6-9LXrHE-6fDAMn-9LDE2T-aAH1f2-6LG5ys-a2hand-8MnibF-gtiRav-6rdzVp-eTL3Rz-bkRSrR-84h4q6-qBvqo-9tdWTN-9Z3frPI 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

 

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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?

“It’s a Local Production” – 1 #fridayfiction

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We had so much fun with Haunted Wedding Dresses, I thought you would enjoy this new story.  This new story is just for you! I’ll be posting the story in parts again. Let’s get started. . .!

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“It’s a Local Production”

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Giraffe presented his head to me.  “The stitching’s coming out in the back,” he said.  “Can you do anything about it, Margy?”  He added, “I missed my cue at rehearsal today, ’cause I thought it was going to fall off.”

I had my hands full already with the coyote costume.  The coyote had dumped her costume on me that morning, sniffing, “It needs cleaning, Margy.  I won’t wear it another second until it’s thoroughly washed.  It smells like an old sock drawer.”

I considered briefly how she would know, since she was one of those people always beautifully turned out, “dressed to the nines,” as they say.

But I said I’d do what I could, and she chuffed off.  Then there was the crow.  “Raven,” he always said, correcting you when you said crow.  Even though the script says Crow, and the director, Seetha, told him it’s Crow, not Raven.  “They’re related,” Crow had said, sniffing.

“I need more feathers,” he’d told me, right after the coyote had dropped off her costume.  I only half-listened, because if Crow had his way, well, there weren’t enough feathers on the planet to satisfy his need for feathers, I suspected.  You might say Crow had a feather fetish.

I could be biased, since I took a lot of pride in crow’s costume.  Most of the time costumes in community theater are a ragtag affair.  Bits salvaged from Goodwill and past productions, tethered together with glue guns and stitching.  You get what you pay for, and there is never budget for costumes in my line.  But Crow’s costume had come from a friend in professional theater, she’d made it for her Senior Thesis performance in the Arts Conservatory in town.  It was a great costume.  The black beak opened and closed and everything.  Still, Crow was constantly whining about needing more feathers.  I was tired of his complaints.

Now this with the giraffe’s head.  I didn’t blame Giraffe.  The head was a cobbled-together thing that came from a horse cap painted with orange and tan continent-shaped spots, to which I had added two little giraffe horns I’d made with felt and stuffing.  Before being a giraffe’s head, and before being a horse’s head, it had been an antelope, a goat, a bull’s head, and who knows what else.  It was ancient even before I started here five years ago.

But – it was all we had.  I had to come up with something.  I was the wardrobe department, wasn’t I?  Even if this was a small, no-costume-budget community theater production of an experimental play with an uncertain cast.

(to be continued!)

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Well, we seem to be continuing with a “sewing” theme.  One of my family members just started a new job as a costumer with a large entertainment organization, and perhaps she is on my mind.  I suppose we can’t help but draw on our own lives to create art, can we? {smile}

Have you ever been in theater?  What is your favorite play?  Do you like musicals, or do you prefer straight play productions?

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Coming soon – a ghost story

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Hey everyone, recently I wrote a ghost story especially for you,  my blogging community.  It’s about haunted wedding dresses – that sounds strange, doesn’t it?

I think you will really enjoy it – I pictured you while I was writing it!  It’s a bit longer than usual for me, so I’m going to post it in sections.  Would love to hear any thoughts you have on the tale!  Do you ever find yourself writing a blog post for some particular members of your community?

Here is a preview (first paragraph+):

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Leila worked among the wedding dresses.  Not in the front where the ecstatic anticipation of soon-to-be brides slopped into the fitting room and flew about the brightly shimmery racks of pearled and satined garments.  Not in the musky design studio rooms where new creations were born of pencil and vellum, of draping lace and taffeta.  Leila worked in the back.

Leila did all the bridal alterations.  It should have been a job of glamour.  She held the fluffy pleats and stiff gay bodices in her calloused and needle-lined hands, placing them tautly on the dressmaker forms drawn from an army of forms lined up at the back of the workroom like so many soldiers in the service of love.  She worked diligently with the dress at hand, before her on her lap, intimate as a lover’s embrace or the happiness of a child.  But this was not a task of glamour and glitz.  This was a work of duty.  Duty to the orders, to the designers, to the brides who had chosen and purchased their dresses for the day of their dreams.

For Leila it was work she dreaded.  She dreaded it with all her being.

It was the dresses.  It was the way they behaved.  Or – misbehaved.

(to be continued!)