Never say “good luck” to an actor. Instead say, ‘break a leg!” This is one of many sayings, superstitions and habits that have brought actors together over the thousands of years since some of our ancestors stood around the campfires and reenacted events, both dramatic and comedic, for their tribal community.

Volcano Theater Company continues in that tradition of showmanship that thrills and transports the audience with written tales of intrigue, love and morality. The volunteers at VTC have served these ticket buyers with great shows and venues for more than a generation. As one guest put it, “best entertainment dollar I can spend!”

But that dollar buys even more than the audience sees on the stage. Behind every performance there is a collection of volunteers that design/build the sets, provide the lights and sounds, sew the costumes and gather/make the props. This activity goes on weeks and weeks before the first ticket is sold and for some time after the last show. While the show runs, this unseen part of the glacier is somewhat stuffed and contained backstage in an area called the “Green Room.” It is actually a rabbit’s warren of rooms and spaces and not necessarily green. It is here where actors, stage hands, props, costumes and makeup are in a constant state of fury and barely contained energy all under the leadership of the Stage Manager. It is here where doors, windows, fireplaces and backlighting are held by exposed lumber and carefully placed wiring. It is here where actors display their abilities to change clothes faster than a fire crew. Thanks to Spanx, gym shorts and a “no see” attitude, this can be done in very close quarters. It is here where makeup is reapplied, hair styles are changed and hand props for the next scene are found. It is here where script readers, directors and technicians correct and change what will magically appear shortly on the stage. It is here where actors with faraway looks, mumble upcoming lines and practice hand and body movements like so many disjointed puppets. This may appear as chaos, but is actually very much coordinated and is as much a part of an actor’s job as the performance on stage. There is a terrific sense of mutual support and a shared goal of putting on the best show possible ... every time!

And it’s all done in whispers and on tiptoe so as not to distract from the on-stage performance.

Indeed a great value for your dollar!

Rocky Lane

Amador City