Shakespeare in the Dark

“Where were you when the lights went out in Performance Hall?” About 220 audience members earned the right to ask that question last night when several blocks of Greenville, SC, were plunged into total darkness courtesy of a texting trucker who rammed an electrical transformer. Audience members kept their cool (figuratively only, since the room temperature rose quickly with no air conditioning), and someone began an a capella rendition of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” which others joined in on. By the time they’d finished “God Bless America,” Jeff Stegall had news that it would be another 20-30 minutes until power could be restored, so the play was adjourned for an elongated intermission. FiggyWhig’s cupcakes and a special appearance from Toby (the dog) were highlights of the downtime. Like wartime cavalry, the campus security arrived with 40 flashlights, which were dispersed among the audience. In true the-show-must-go-on spirit, the cast picked up where they left off and continued in the spotty light for three scenes (see video below) until with a whoosh and a thunk, electricity returned. A memorable evening indeed!
So where were you when the lights went out? If you were there, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

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7 Responses to “Shakespeare in the Dark”

  • Heather Brown Says:

    Last night, a around eight o’clock, I was in Performance Hall when the lights went out.

    First thing I’d have to say is that despite the obvious unexpected events, the actors handled themselves very well (in fact, I might dare to guess the lights going out added to the comic effect and I shall like to go back on a normal night and see whether it could be any funnier).

    I also ended up one of the front row audience members to become an impromptu follow-spot when I was handed a flashlight and asked to aim it at the actors on stage. With so many cross beamed lights pointed at them, I hope the actors did not suffer from ‘stars’ in their eyes for too long afterward.

    Overall, I would have to say that this performance of Summer Shakespeare has been by far one of the most memorable, and personally, one of my absolute favorite performances that I have ever had the pleasure of attending.

  • Yorick Says:

    Thanks, Heather! Although we all think we got a few gray hairs during the course of the evening, the unexpected audience involvement was a delightful addition to the production.

  • » Happy Independence Day! A to Zach Says:

    […] in a play right now and I’ve posted about it before, but Friday’s performance was special.  Right before intermission, the power went out.  Apparently, a truck hit a transformer.  Jeff, […]

  • Yesenia Says:

    Thank you all for continuing the show. The lights going out only made the night more memorable and fun! Thanks again for a wonderful job!

  • Mel Gibson Says:

    It reminded me that all you really need for a good performance are good actors and the ability to see them. Well done, guys!

  • Yorick Says:

    Thank you for staying with us! You were an audience full of great sports.

  • Lori Heston Says:

    That was the best time ever! I am certain shakespeare would be ever so proud! That was the first time I ever saw Shakespear done in such a way that I could follow. Thank you for the best memories!

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