Stage Fright on a Summer Night
Each seemed to be in his ownworld. One was pulling on a cape. Another was tying a rope around his waist. A third was whispering words to himself.
âIâll find your costumes,â said Will.
As Will dug through a large basket of clothes, Jack and Annie looked around the costume room. It was crammed with fancy gowns, purple and blue capes, gold and silver wigs, stacks of hats, and masks.
âCool,â whispered Annie. She touched a donkey mask and a lion mask. âThese would make good disguises, huh?â
Jack was amazed she was acting so calm. Didnât she know they were about to stand in front of three thousand people? The thought made him break into a sweat. His stomach felt fluttery.
âHere!â said Will. He handed them greentunics, hats, and slippers. âPut these on! No time to dally! Your parts come up soon!â
Jack and Annie slipped behind a curtain and changed into their costumes. As they put on their hats, Annie hid her pigtails.
When they came out, Will handed them each a small scroll. âHere are your rolls,â he said. âThey have only
lines on them, no one elseâs.â
Jack unrolled his scroll. He had two long speeches to read.
âWait a second,â he said. âI thought I just had a few lines. I didnât know I had a ton.â
âDonât worry,â said Will. âJust rememberâspeak very clearly and with feeling. And above all, act natural.â
How do youact natural when youâre about to have a heart attack?
Just then a short, chubby man burst into the costume room. He had curly hair and bright red cheeks. He was dressed all in green, too.
âFor goodnessâ sakes, Will!â he said in a frantic whisper. âWhat will we do?â
âDonât worry! Look who Iâve found! They both can read!â said Will. He pushed Jack and Annie forward. âJack and Andy, meet Puck, âmerry wanderer of the night.â Heâll take you to the stage. Good luck!â
Annie smiled. Jack groaned.
âCome, boys!â said Puck. âFollow me!â
Puck led Jack and Annie out of the costume room into the hallway. Then he guided them to a dark area at the back of the stage.
Actors stood silently nearby, waiting to go on. One wore a beautiful white gown. Others wore tattered brown rags.
Through an arch, Jack saw the roof of the stage. It was blue with stars and a moon. A huge crowd stood directly in front of the stage. More people watched from the galleries above.
Every single person in England is out there!
Jack thought with horror.
How did I let Annie talk me into this?
onstage first,â Puck whispered to Jack. âWhen I say, âHow now, spirit! Whither wander you?â, start reading your lines. Understand?â
Jack barely nodded. His mouth felt dry. He tried to swallow, but he couldnât.
Puck turned to Annie.
âYou go onstage with the fairy queen,â hewhispered. He pointed to the actor dressed in the beautiful white gown. âWhen she tells you to sing her to sleep, you start your song.â
âWhatâs the tune?â asked Annie.
âJust make it up,â said Puck. âNow, if they yell rude things, do not stop. Justââ
yells rude things?â Jack broke in.
âThe groundlings get a bit wild,â said Puck.
âGroundlings?â said Jack.
âThe rowdy folk who donât have seats,â said Puck. âTheyâre standing close to the stage. If they throw rotten fruit, donât stop, either. Just keep going.â
That does it
, thought Jack. He couldnât go onstageânot with groundlings throwing things, not with three thousand people watching, not with a million lines to readâand not when he was about to throw up!
While Puck and Annie watched the show, Jack slipped away. He looked for the exit. Just as he found the stairs, he bumped into Will.
âWhere are you going?â Will whispered.
âI canât stay,â said Jack. âIâm sick!â
Will sucked in his breath. But then he put his hands on Jackâs shoulders and spoke calmly.
âClose your eyes for a moment, Jack,â he said.
Jack closed his eyes. He could hear his heart pounding in his ears.
âThere is nothing to fear,â Will whispered. âImagine you are a fairy. Youâre in the forest, on a summer night. See the
Weitere Kostenlose Bücher