When I wrote about the things I like about winter, I mentioned that we auditioned for parts in W.O. Mitchell’s play, The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon, last week. I didn’t get the part I wanted but I wasn’t overly surprised or as disappointed as I thought I’d be.
Flagstaff Players has always had trouble recruiting men. We usually pick scripts with fewer male roles than female but this time we really went out on a limb. Black Bonspiel has nine male roles and only one female one! Could we do it, we wondered. Amazingly, men came out of the woodwork and we had no problem filling all nine roles! Competition for the one female role was fierce, however, so I knew that my chances weren’t great.
One of the reasons that I’m not too disappointed is the fact that Richard scored the lead role! He’s playing Wullie MacCrimmon himself! I’m so delighted for him that my disappointment pales in comparison. I’ve had lots of lead roles but this will be his first.
The second reason that I’m not feeling crushed is that I think the directors did an excellent job of casting the female role. It went to one of my former students, a delightful young woman who was an active participant in the high school drama club back in the days when Melaina and Nathan were involved. Following high school, she went on to become a teacher and it was she who was hired to take my position when I retired! We acted together in A Christmas Carol two years ago and I know that she’ll do a wonderful job.
I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed though. I love to act and I really wanted that role. The friend who phoned to give us the news knew that and tried to soften the blow by telling me that they were looking at writing in some bit parts for some of the women who auditioned and didn’t get roles and that I would definitely have one of those. That’s not what I wanted but what could I do? I could wallow in self pity, I could accept the situation gracefully or I could channel my inner W.O.
Not only do I love to act; I love to write. What if I put the two together and wrote my own part? That’s the idea that hit me late last night when I couldn’t sleep. The part of Lucy Tregellis was an obvious one. She’s really Mitchell’s creation, not my own. She actually appears in the script but only in disparaging remarks made by the other female character. What if we brought her to life and put her onstage? I knew it could be done without changing W.O.’s story line and I knew I could do it. I messaged the directors and they loved the idea. It will only be a bit part but it will be mine, all mine, the first role I’ve ever written for myself!