This being our 30th anniversary, we thought we’d dip back into the past and recap some of our previous performances, triumphs and tragedies, in a series of posts. And don’t forget our Chronology! It’s not as detailed, but it really shows the growth of ARTC over the years.
The first thing you’ll notice about this performance at the Tomato Festival is that it’s outdoors. We’re not terribly fond of outdoor venues for a variety of reasons, but this show was a ton of fun.
One reason why we don’t care for the outdoors much is that the weather is going to either be good or bad. If it’s good, then people aren’t likely to stick around to hear a radio performance no matter how good it sounds. If it’s bad then everybody probably stayed home or ran indoors. Also, it can get hot out there!
Another reason is acoustics and unwanted sounds. At an indoor venue such as the Academy Theatre or even Dragon Con, we have a certain amount of control over how things sound. Outdoors, anything can happen. And we have to crank the volume up a little louder than normal because there are no walls for the sound to bounce off of!
But the number one reason we don’t like outdoor venues is because of our experience at Frontier Days and our cautionary tale of how great ideas can go wrong. Frontier Days was a celebration of the time between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War here in Georgia. We’d actually had to write a bunch of new scripts just to make sure we had some content for this show, and we were eager to debut them. And then it rained.
When the rain let up, the festival continued. They had strolling characters and reenacters and all kinds of fun stuff, including one gentleman who was demonstrating an actual black powder musket. We thought this was brilliant and, since one of our brand new scripts, The Legend of Nancy Morgan Hart, called for a gunshot, we thought this was an excellent opportunity to incorporate some live Foley into the show. We rehearsed it and everything went off without a hitch.
Then we performed it. At the critical moment, when our heroine is supposed to shoot one of the soldiers who has invaded her house, the musket misfired. All we got was a click. And the very next line was supposed to be “She shot him!” There was a pause on stage. The actors all looked at one another, and then at the Foley table who shrugged their shoulders helplessly. And then Geoffry Brown uttered the line that will live forever in ARTC history: “She poisoned me!” and David Benedict could only reply: “She poisoned him! Right there!”.
And the worst part is that, due to a technical glitch, we don’t even have a recording!!
But there are worse ways to spend your day than at Stone Mountain Park, even on an overcast and slightly rainy day. And we don’t remember if the walkie-talkies reached all the way back to the performance site.
We really did have a fun time doing these shows. 🙂