Mortifying Moments

Students involved in theater share their embarrassing moments on stage.

Lyric Westley

Embarrassing moments are bound to happen, especially when performing. 

“When I was in the musical Footloose, there was a full cast quick change to go into the finale. Everyone was frantically running around and trying to get changed in time. I had an older dress for a costume so I stepped on stage and the back of it automatically popped open. I could not not do the choreography that I had been given so my whole back was out for the rest of the show. That ended up happening two more times before they changed the zipper,” senior Avery Beavers said.

One of the most common causes of performance mishaps is costume malfunctions. The costume could be ripped, have buttons/zippers that do not work or have missing pieces. When this happens to a performer’s costume, it can be pretty embarrassing and will make the performer constantly worry about the malfunction.

In one of the rehearsals, we were helping work on the set. Everyone had just gotten done painting all of these walls that we would put together later. We kept rehearsing scenes and a lot of them required dancing. At some point, I got very tired and decided to sit down on the side of stage. When it was my turn to get back on stage I stood up and started walking. Everyone started laughing so I turned around and saw a butt-print in the fresh paint where I had just been sitting. I wasn’t allowed to leave rehearsal so I just had to toughen through it. I had a huge black stain on the back of my jeans and was never able to get it out,” Beavers said.

Since theatre sets are still being worked on when rehearsal is going on, it is pretty easy to trip over and/or bump into the set pieces. When sets are still in progress, then someone will almost always end of with paint either on their skin or clothes which is always a hassle to remove.

“One of the most embarrassing things that happened during a rehearsal happened during Footloose during our Wet Tech rehearsal. We were rehearsing about a two-minute quick change where the entire cast of about 65 people had to change backstage from a church outfit to huge prom dresses and tuxes to perform the finale number. When the scene finally approached, panic literally struck every single person. Mad Chaos. We have this rule that taught by Hensley that no matter what, we never miss an entrance. The music was speeding up and about to be our entrance. All of our dresses weren’t zipped and the pieces of the boy’s tuxes were not buttoned or on at all. We all went on stage and performed the number half-naked. We all finished the number laughing so hard and we had to run that quick change about ten more times to get it right,”  Raegan Maintz said.

When there is any type of malfunction or issue of when performing, the performer will feel way better if they were to see their cast members having the same problem since it will be less embarrassing. With events like that hilarity can be added to the moment which makes people both on and off stage feel better.

“During Hunchback of Notre Dame during my sophomore year, there is a scene where one of the characters sets the other character on fire in a pit. This is portrayed through holding a lantern with a flame and then having lighting effects making it seem as though she is in the fire. Well, during one of our performances, the flame on the torch fell over on the set-piece. Which was wooden, so it started spreading so fast. We were in the middle of a musical number and had to wait out the song before putting it out. All of the actors started panicking but had to keep a straight face for the audience. The number ended and we had someone in our cast punch out the fire backstage.”

Fire is definitely no joke, so when it gets onto something it can be surprising and scary. While it may not have been the best to wait so long, the musical cast was eventually able to get rid of the fire and that is what matters.

There are many types of embarrassing moments that can happen on stage whether it is during a theatre performance or not. These situations are unavoidable, so the best thing to do is to keep one’s head high and pretend it did not happen.