Every production has a story to tell. Thankfully, there are no perfect productions. Tricks are played.
Lines are forgotten. Props don't work. The weather doesn't cooperate. Those incidents can be trying at the
time but they become part of history of the show and the theatre. Winfield Community Theatre has it share of
stories to remember and these pages are for that. These memories are not in any special order and are based on
member's submissions. If you have a memory to share or want to add to what had been
written, please use the form at the bottom of each page.
- Bus Stop - 1970
- In Bus Stop, one of the actors had to hand a note to the sheriff each night.
After he received the note, his line was, "Well, I'll be jiggered."
One night the note said, "If you are a fairy, say "Well, I'll be jiggered."
The Sheriff about swallowed his cigar, but he managed to say his line.
- The Odd Couple - 1970
- In The Odd Couple's classic fight scene, Felix brings out a plate of linguini
for his supper. Oscar tells him to get the "spaghetti" off his table. When Felix corrects him that it is
not spaghetti but linguini, Oscar picks up the plate and throws it off stage into the kitchen.
Backstage the linguini is caught in a sheet to contain the spatter. One night the woman who
was holding the sheet was new and she said loudly enough to be heard by part of the audience,
"It's not linguini - it's a mess!"
- Unknown Show
- Bruce Rogers, the director of Guys and Dolls and other
plays, insisted on all line being memorized and that a prompter would never be used. He
contended that this was unprofessional and that if the actors knew that they could rely on a
prompter, they would never memorize their lines. He also contended that the actors had to work
themselves out of any problem caused by forgetting lines. This rule has always been followed, leading to some
hilarious situations. Remembering lines is easier for some persons than others.
In one play, one actor, prior to each performance, went around the stage and
wrote certain lines on the couch, on the lamp, on paper props and on his hands.
- Little Shop Of Horrors - 1991
- In Little Shop of Horrors, there was blood on the floor in one of the scenes. One
of the actors was supposed to make some comment about the blood. He couldn't remember his line and so he
knelt down on the floor pretending to be wiping the blood away and kept saying; "Out damned spot,
out damned spot" until he finally remembered his line. Shakespeare would have been proud of him.
- The Subject Was Roses - 1985
- In The Subject was Roses, the father, as soon as the second act started,
was to get a beer bottle opener and open a bottle of beer. This prop was to be set by the prop crew between
acts. One night he opened the door and the beer bottle opener wasn't there. He started ad-libbing and opened
doors all over the cabinet and finally, to his great relief, he found it on a shelf in the
bottom of the cabinet.
- Music Man - 1968
- In Music Man, the opening scene was a group of salesmen riding on a train with
Harold Hill. One of the salesmen was suppose to go up to the water fountain and get a
drink and then go back to his seat. On one night, another salesman had earlier put a play
worn in the first salesman's glass. This salesman wasn't wearing his glasses that night and took a drink of water,
but never saw the worm. He the went back to his seat with no expression on his face and the
other salesman was mystified why his joke did not succeed.
- Inherit The Wind - 1973
- In the drama Inherit the Wind, the foreman of the jury handed the verdict to the judge every
night. This was a serious part of the play. One night the written verdict said to the judge; "Your
fly's open." The judge immediately decided to go down behind the bench, supposedly to tie his show,
and (perhaps check his fly!)
- Stalag 17 - 1974
- In Stalag 17, a machine gun was suppose to fire through a door facing the audience.
The properties people had a terrible time figuring out how this would look authentic. They finally drilled
holes in the area where the machine gun fire was to hit and filled the holes with round pieces of
wood with strings attached. At the sound of gunfire, the strings were to be pulled one by one from backstage
so it appeared that the gunfire was causing the holes in the door. One night there was a lack of coordination.
The person pulling the plugs did so several seconds before the sound of gunfire. It was a serious moment, but
the audience couldn't stop laughing.
- Actor's Nightmare
- One of the founding persons of the WCT has been in over 20 plays through the years. Even after all of his
experience, he still has a recurring dream that he is on stage on opening night, but he hasn't read the play
- The Butler Did It - 1986
- In The Butler Did It, one of the actors was a detective who was suppose to use
a magnifying glass every night. One night he forgot to bring it on stage. He had to pretend to have it
when he delivered his line. Another actor was holding the object that the detective was
suppose to examine and had a difficult time keeping from breaking up with laughter.
- The Petrified Forest - 1998
- In The Petrified Forest, an outlaw gang in the 1930's takes over a cafe. The
lead character is named Alan Squire. At the end of the play, the Humphrey Bogart character fulfilled and
earlier promise to Squire to shot him as he was leaving the cafe. He would then bleed, fall on the floor and
die. On the last night, Bogart shot the gun and there was a click. He shot again and
there was another click. The show couldn't end if Squire doesn't die. Bogart quickly and wisely grabbed a knife
and stabbed Squire who then used his blood package and fell to the floor. This was a serious part of the play,
but the audience was amused at the mishap.
- South Pacific - 1974
- In South Pacific, the actor playing the smart-alec sailor, was imitating a female and doing a
hula dance. He had on a grass skirt and each side of is chest was covered by one-half
of a coconut shell to represent the upper anatomy of the female. They were held on very tightly.
One night, as he danced, the strap popped and two people in the second row each had one-half of a
coconut in their hands.
Sometimes the best parts of a production happen off stage, during
rehearsals, or when the cast and crew are just hanging out. We want to remember all those
stories. If you have a story you want to share, please use the form below. We will add it to