When I was doing summer stock the summer after my freshman year of college, it was rough. And not just because the work was hard. It was just a crappy place to be. The boys lived in one cast house, and the girls lived in the carriage house right behind. The carriage house wasn’t so bad except for one night. I was up late talking to my then boyfriend now husband on the phone and started feeling sick. Luckily, one of the other girls came by, and when I mentioned that I didn’t feel well she had the brains to have the house evacuated. We had a gas leak.
I was the only one who managed to bring anything with them when we moved into the boys’ house. At least I had my stuffed puppy as I slept on the floor.
I was jealous that the boys had a nicer house than the girls until the next week when their upstairs bathroom fell into the kitchen. A tub in the kitchen sink, like you do. The company didn’t fix it or clean it up for more than a week.
Over the course of that summer we lost half of the actors and tech staff. It sort of turned into a game every morning: Who quit last night? The most elegant notice I have ever seen handed in came from one of the wardrobe mistresses.
We came in one morning, and there was a note enumerating all of the things that were wrong with the theatre and the costume shop tacked to the costume shop door with a seam ripper. That woman had channeled Captain James Hook in the best way. Wherever you are, I wish you well wardrobe mistress. And may your seam ripper always meet hard wood, not tender flesh.