It’s me, DD 433, and 1,606 additional seats staring at a stage vacant of performers, but filled with the promise of what will be. We see a huge staircase on both sides of the stage, with a single spotlight shining down on a stack of folding chairs surrounding a piano. The hum of the ventilation system is the only sound that DD 433 and I hear. We notice a crew member checking some equipment in the catwalks high about the seats. DD 433 and I wait a while to see if anything might happen on the stage soon – we quickly realize it’s a little too early for onstage activity. We decided to try again later.
I returned to the auditorium where DD 433 was waiting for me – we had struck gold. The stage was now buzzing with activity as ten performers were going through their rehearsal paces. We watched as three gals and two guys sat on the staircase steps, waiting for their cues, as Artistic Director, Andrea McCormick, reviewed choreography with five dancers. DD 433 and I watched as the dancers focused intently on Andrea to learn their steps. Slowly at first, one step at a time, then all in unison, and at a faster pace. We heard a few counts of music play, then – “Altogether … 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Let’s do that again.”
The activity on stage has changed – this time DD 433 and I enjoy watching Andrea instruct ten young girls from the youth cast, each holding a large white feather fan. Seven others are standing at the front of the stage, watching and listening, knowing their turn is coming soon. The girls are learning choreography and how to handle the fans for one of the numbers. Andrea encourages them to “turn into a flower for the count of eight.” DD 433 and I are amused watching the girls as they learn – “Ready? 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Good job!”
As our time together comes to a close, I realize that DD 433 gets to be a part of something magical – the chance to witness every onstage moment in the creation of a new show. I’m glad I was able to share the opportunity. I’ll be back again soon, I told my new friend.
Donna Haefner is a member of American Music Theatre’s Marketing Department. She can be reached at dhaefner@AMTshows.com