THE ADVENTURES OF AN USHER by Barbara Biddison
I signed up to volunteer my time in the Deane Center Coolidge Theatre
where Hamilton-Gibson's A CHRISTMAS CAROL was playing. There were three performances on that "Dickens of a Christmas" day, and my noon to 2:00 slot included the 1:30 show. "So, what's so adventurous about that?" you may ask. I say it all depends on how a person views
I started out maybe 45 minutes before the show began, and it was then that the people began lining up. What to do with a couple dozen folks, ages ranging from infant to those as old as I am, as they waited, and waited, for the theatre door to open. I decided to give them programs "to read a bit in good light," as they stood patiently.
As soon as they were allowed in, a few decided they needed to know, "Do I have time to go to the bathroom?" They did, so out they went and back in again, as more joined the line..
Then as the line grew longer and fatter, it began to rain HARD. And there is a door to the outside where the line had formed. So the decision was made,to quickly bring the "costume judging" event inside. And, of course, they needed to bring all their dripping wet equipment and a few costumed people in that very door. We did a little "hallway dance of sorts" and managed all that in good spirits.
Finally we opened the door to the theatre to all who stood in line, and we had plenty of time to spare. Except that there were some who had tickets who had not shown up yet. The preshow singin' dancin' group of young people, under Thomas Putnam's direction, filled some more time before the announced !:30 beginning of the actual "Christmas Carol." With moments to spare a lovely woman with an adorable infant in arms came out and asked if she had time to "change the baby." She did as the baby continued to smile. And back she went to her seat. This is a "family show" after all.
When I left the Coolidge I walked down to the Methodist Church where Wellsboro Women's Chorus was scheduled to sing at 2:30.On the way I saw Putnam with his crowd of kids joyfully moving up Main Street!
singing and adding to the spirit of the day. After all these years the Dickens spirit shines through, snow in other years and rain and threats of rain up to this year. But I've seen smiling faces on people who live here and those who visit....since the Dickens event began. Thanks to all groups and individuals who put it all together, and to HG's Tara Gordon who is newly serving as volunteer chair for Hamilton Gibson's events.