This is not exactly an award-winning photograph, but it’s the best one I could manage to take to capture an image of my wife in her latest Racine Theater Guild undertaking- as stage manager for the comedy “Leading Ladies.” She is in the control booth for each and every performance of the play, essentially running the show by calling every light cue to the light technicians, every music and sound effect cue to the sound technician, and all entrance cues to the assistant stage managers. She also announces to the people in the lobby, “ladies and gentlemen, act one of ‘Leading Ladies’ will begin in three minutes.” I am famous for showing up at the very last minute for performances, but I made a point of being at the theater this time around at least five minutes early so I would get to hear my wife’s voice over the loudspeaker advising all of us to get to our seats. And it was exciting to hear it, although I’m sure she would be rolling her eyes if she knew I was saying that. It’s just a little announcement, after all- but it was so fun to hear my wife making it . . . the firm yet kind voice of authority.
Which brings up an important point. . . My wife is so good in these kind of situations because for her being Stage Manager does not represent some long- desired power trip like it is for some people. In other words, she does not let this little bit of authority go to her head, as though she were suddenly the Sultan of Saudi Arabia. She is not one to order people around as though they’re the water boy and she’s the NFL head coach. She’s just Kathy Berg- as easy-going and fun-loving as ever yet wonderfully organized and efficient and very assured at what she does. And it has been so fun to see her do this. . . Not that having her gone night after night after night to rehearsal has been a dream come true. This house has been mighty big and quiet on many an evening. But at least I knew that she was in the midst of a very satisfying and fun undertaking and doing more than her part to make this latest RTG show a success. And I am more than happy to endure a few quiet nights for the sake of that – glad that she has enjoyed this and been so successful – and glad I’ve got my opera videos to keep me company.