Play Goes Well Without Actors

NEW YORK – An already popular Broadway production of Gerbils! goes remarkably well without actors. After a nearly sold out first week of performances, the producers saw an unprecedented opportunity to remove the actors from the story entirely.

“It’s a much better show without actors,” said a spokesperson of Caravan Inc, the production company. “And we love actors, don’t get us wrong.”

Caravan Inc, known for a string of Broadway hits such as Salamanders! Emus! Birds of Prey! paid off the actors’ union contracts, but kept ticket sales open. 

“It was a risk, we know. But it was a financial risk we were happy to take.”

Once word got out the curtain would rise, but without actors, the show sold out within an hour.

One enthusiastic patron said after seeing the actor-less production, “Who needs actors?”

(It is the opinion of this journalist that the stage manager who took control of rehearsals and led the production to its regular opening date might be in cahoots with the producers. This is unconfirmed.)

The originally scheduled closing date of Gerbils! has been pushed back to accommodate the demand in tickets.

by Dan Plighter

Stage Manager Takes Control

MILWAUKEE – A stage manager for a small theater company in Milwaukee recently took complete control over rehearsals, usurping the director’s position entirely.

The stage manager, Kiera, said in a statement, “We were constantly talking about other things. No one would have rehearsed if I didn’t make them.” Following the change of guard, Kiera forced the actors to say their lines and follow the agreed on staging in a timely manner.

“I didn’t notice,” said one of the actors. “And there was still coffee in the green room.”

But the director was gobsmacked. “The stage manager usually runs the show, but not before opening. This was unheard of.”

An actor who has reportedly been in the business for over thirty years said, “I’ve seen a lot [of stage managers] try. I’ve never seen one actually do it. It was really something.”

The director watched helplessly as rehearsals continued, transitioned into tech rehearsals, and then opened to fair reviews.

“We opened on time. We were prepared,” said Kiera. Critics, however, were skeptical, and protests outside posited the idea that if they opened on the same day as planned before the coup, then why the takeover?

Others have shown their support by attending the performance early, ready to be seated the moment the house opens. The house manager says she’s never seen anything like it. “We could even start the show early each night, get it over with, and then go home.”

“I can’t speak to the quality of the performances,” said Kiera, “but the show runs on time, it’s consistent, the actors do what they’re told. That’s good theater.”

Throughout the process, all union actors still received their union breaks.

by Dan Plighter