I’m cast in a play, but don’t know my lines for the second half of the script. It’s a community production and rather modest in set design and costuming. There isn’t a stage, and the performance shares the same floor with the audience, a simple curtain delineating the backstage.
It’s opening night, and the play has already begun. I’m meant to go on stage in a few scenes. I am trying to get a hold of the script so I can cram my lines for the second half. I know this is futile, but I persist. I rummage through my bags and ask my castmates to look at their copies. However, I don’t want to raise any alarms, so am doing my best to seem nonchalant. Inside, though, my heart is pounding. My mouth tastes like metal. I have to speak in a whisper so that I don’t interrupt the play.
When I do get a copy of the script, my fears grow exponentially. I’m cast in a sci-fi/horror piece, and my character undergoes some fantastical transformation in the second act. I become a transsexual were-beast with a new name. In fact, all the characters transform and take on new identities. From skimming, I have no way of telling which character I am portraying and which lines to learn. To make matters worse, there are cartoon panels throughout the script. I’m not sure how we are meant to portray these moments on stage. I don’t know what to do.
As I’m trying to cope with all of this, another castmate that is backtage keeps speaking in a loud voice, disrupting the play. I keep trying to get her to quiet down, but she’s oblivious. It’s almost time for my cue.