As tour manager I get to hear (and remember) the great things kids say and the quick thinking the performers are required to do. I also get to see most things that happen behind and off the set. At this point in the tour a handful of great moments have passed, almost unnoticed.
First, I would like to clarify that this tour requires the cast to be the crew as well. At each performance we unload, set-up and the re-load the set pieces in a moving truck. We have gotten quite good at the process. At the Bay City Arts Center, we were unable to fit all the pieces up the stairs and needed to set a few off to the side. This happens often, depending on the size of the space. What makes this event memorable was the action of a wandering animal. Bay City Arts is graciously (and gently) guarded by a beautiful dog who is not responsible for the following action. A collie I have never met before came to greet us about half way through our set-up. He was quite an excited pup and instantly began looking for something to claim as his. All he found were my set pieces and they, naturally, became his. After shooing him away, the women in the kitchen helped me find some disinfectant so I could sanitize the set pieces before returning them to the truck.
In addition to La Boheme, this tour performs an interactive improvised opera which lets students vote on music and storylines as well as learn a few lines to perform as the chorus. During the musical voting sessions, the kids are asked to think about the mood of the music and respond with their ideas. They also get to vote on the overture. In one of these moments, Eric played a happy tune which got the response “it sounds like an elf bouncing through a happy place.” Eric responded, slightly under his breath, with “well, it is Mozart, so you’re right.”