Whenever performers are faced with technical difficulties but somehow manage to handle them with ease, tapping into all those disaster aversion improv classes, the overall performance always leaves me very impressed.
Such is the case with Wintersweet.
5 minutes before the end of the show a light blew plunging the B2 Arena into complete darkness. One of the actors was stuck laughing hysterically after having just said “I have a vegetable garden”. I heard shifting behind me and someone in the audience jumping up and exiting the space and I can only imagine it was to do some kind of damage control. And then suddenly one of the lights (and this I think is the same lamp that was used as a prop in the set at one point) shines bright, audience-facing, and the action continues.
“I have a vegetable garden,” the actor continues.
However, the actor is now faced with a dilemma: stick to the previously agreed upon stage direction and deliver her monologue with her face shrouded in darkness, or improvise and find the impulse to drive her to the light – I’m sure the stage direction was slightly improvised.
Without breaking a sweat the performers managed to get to the end of the show and came out to accept their applause laughing.
Wintersweet, adapted from Jane Fitch’s White Oleander, is a poetic retelling of the relationship between a girl and her mothers (more specifically focusing on the relationship between the girl and her real mother in prison). Beautifully written, the language is a pleasure to listen to.