Tales, Gossip and Scandals of 1850

Our town kicks off the fall holidays with a celebration called Jingle Bell Weekend. Craft shows, mini concerts, social gatherings and a parade in downtown are hallmarks of this outpouring of community spirit and good cheer. In recent years there has been a walking Lantern Tour of the historic neighborhoods of Waverly, Ohio. This year’s performance was last night, November 17th, 2007. The first stop of the tour provides hot drinks and cookies to those participating. Stationed along the route are actors that entertain the crowd and provide historic information about the town. Taken together, the performances at each stop make up a complete play. The performance was titled “Tales, Gossip and Scandals of 1850”.

This was my first year participating as an actor. I was one of the lucky actors that made up the “town council meeting” segment, and spent the evening indoors with the refreshments. Most of the troupe spent the evening outdoors while the temperature dropped from a comfortable 50 degrees to just above freezing. Still, most people said it was the best weather a Lantern Tour has had for the past couple of years. This year had the largest audience the tour has ever had, and the organizers broke them up into manageable sized groups for the space available at each stop. We performed our parts of the play four times during the evening.

Acting is fun. I think I do a good job as a community theater player. After most performances I have audience members approach me and tell me what a fine job I did. It is a real ego boost (like I need one!) The best part for me is when I get direct reaction from the audience during the performance. This year I got a good laugh as the town council chairman when I merely rolled my eyes and slumped my shoulders as another character repeatedly interrupted the proceedings.

After our last performance we, the town council actors, shadowed the last group of tour participants around to each stop. The crowd was laughing at each performance, and so was I. Most of these actors will also be in a mystery dinner theater play I am in. That play will be performed in early December 2007. They are a fun bunch of people to work with.

This performance is part of my 101 Things to do in 1001 Days list.  Scratch Thing #22. Give 101% into performance for Jingle Bell skit.

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