My first introduction to the classic American play Our Town came at Interlochen Arts Camp. The high school troupe’s second show that year was the Thornton Wilder standard and I was too green in the world of theatre to know that the play was one of the more overdone scripts; especially among high school actors. That didn’t diminish from the charm of the piece. I instantly fell in love and convinced my high school to perform it the next fall.
I was privy to a unique performance on the night I went. The show was being performed in the old Grunow Theatre; a building that was condemned in the fall after that camp season. (It since has been rebuilt) The small intimate theater was more of a barn than a theatre at that point and was also very old sporting structural problems. This was evident that night at one point during the third act.
For those of you familiar with the play, you will know that the third act takes place in a grave yard. As if it had been planned, a guest performer showed up that night. A bat swooped down from the rafters and began flying around the stage. Amazingly all the actors kept their composure. I think most of the audience was too familiar with Mother Nature or thought it was part of the show. It was a really nice effect for the live theatre.