Friday, April 8, 2011

Shiloh Rules

My posts this month have been very spotty (nonexistent really), for which I apologize. Recently I've been working on a play that is consuming the greater part of my life and health. As assistant stage manager, I'm basically the Cinderella of the theater: I get there half an hour early to sweep the floor, organize everyone's stuff, call out lines when the actors forget them, make sure people have their props, do odd jobs, put everything away at the end of the night, and finally, stay late to wash all the dishes. What did I say? Cinderella.

It's very time-consuming but worth it--there's a lot of fun that goes along with it and the play, Shiloh Rules, is awesome. It's a comedy-drama (I would call it a "dramedy,"  but I hate that word) about Civil War reenactors. Specifically, the 144th Battle of Shiloh--and the women in competition for the title of Best Female Reenactor of the Year. The North is represented by Miss Clara May Abbott, Union field nurse and "Angel of Antietam." Her assistant this year is Meg Barton, a college student who's in it for the extra credit. The South is represented by Mrs. Cecilia Pettison, a true mystery--no one knows where she comes from, and she seems to really live in 1862 (mentally, at least). Cecilia's assistant is LucyGale Scruggs, a FedEx route tracker whose real job seems boring and lifeless compared to the reenactment. Meanwhile, the "Widow Beckwith" (Buckie Beckwith, cookhouse provider, newsletter publisher, and profiteer) sells artifacts and souveniers--some legally obtained, most not--to both sides, and the African-American Ranger Wilson patrols the park looking for any illegal activity, seriously annoyed by these crazies who want to act out the Civil War.

The play is all women (being a women's college, we tend to do a lot of those). The comedy is highly entertaining, and the drama gets genuinely disturbing. I've had a blast being crew for this play, even if it has destroyed a good part of my physical and mental health. Blogposts will be much more frequent after Sunday the 10th, our last performance...

Moral of the story: Crewbies are overworked, underappreciated members of the theatre world who do a lot and don't sleep nearly enough. Next time you see a show--whether it's on Broadway or at a local college--look at the pretty set, listen to the sound effects, ooh and ahh at the light design, and admire the costumes and cool props knowing that there are a lot of people backstage who put that together and made the actors look good. Obviously I'm not biased at all...

In other news, I wrote a new book review--The Abhorsen Trilogy Book One: Sabriel.


  1. haha this reminds me of Ms. Perouty with her pirate reenactments lol.

  2. Haha! OMG I completely forgot about that! Never got to see any of THOSE, but I've seen some Revolutionary War reenactments. Nothing on the full-scale battle size of Shiloh Rules, though. Definitely nothing this intense...tonight the scene where Ranger Wilson is choking the hell of LucyGale was really good, and the stage blood where she gets shot looks extremely realistic. It's a pain to wipe up off the stage at the end of the night, though, lol...

  3. hahaha I wish we could have seen her in a reenactment. It would have been EPIC! and wow, that sounds intense! I wish I could come see it. I'm glad you seem to be enjoying it :)

  4. It's one of those plays where the funny is REALLY funny and the intense is REALLY intense. And yes, I enjoyed it very much. :)


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