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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

Inclusivity Win: Crew Member Joins Cast on Stage After Failing to Finish Set Change In Time

by Noah Pines. @noah.pines.

ALTOONA, Penn. — A brief miscommunication paved the way for an unlikely lesson in inclusivity this week, as crew member Eddie Turner found himself on stage, joining the Altoona Arts Center’s production of Fiddler of the Roof after failing to collapse a table in time, sources have confirmed.

“I was terrified,” recounted Turner. “The table was featured upstage center of the stage, with no easy escape route. Instead of being a distraction, I sat down on a nearby stool and began energetically conversing with the ensemble members. It was actually a really nice moment for the actors and stage crew to come together,” he added.

As the audience sat in silence during the change, the stage crew shadows rushed across the stage, transforming Tevye’s house into the village inn.

“I did hear a crash part of the way through,” states Martha Young, frequent supporter of the Altoona arts. “When the lights came up, among the actors conversing and pantomiming drinking in tattered brown clothing, stood a single young man dressed in all black. It was a big moment in the show and an even bigger moment for our community,” she added with proud tears in her eyes.

The cast and crew were so moved by Eddie’s contribution that they ended up inviting other stagehands to join the performance as well, with mixed results.

“It was quite obvious that none of them knew the choreography,” noted local high school Principal Jeffrey Eden. “The rest of the performance was kind of a mess honestly, but at the end of the day, it was our mess. Our weird, unorganized, really embarrassing mess.” 

He cited one moment, involving circular formations within other circular formations, as a significant point of both community pride and relentless chaos.

At press time, the local drama association was considering more ways in which they could mix the stars of stage with the ones who make it turn. 

Ideas included “swap day”, in which the actors would work the lights and sound board for a particular performance. However, the idea was sullied after actor/local dental assistant Max Fellner turned the spotlight up too high and temporarily blinded crew member/tennis instructor Alexandra Westway, exemplifying the fact that major societal change doesn’t just happen overnight.


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