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Bat On The Roof

, , , , , , | Learning | July 21, 2018

(In my high school, the musical theater program is incredible, and their performances are almost as popular as football games. This year’s “Fiddler On The Roof” makes its way onto the local news with a thirty-second snippet from one of the songs before it shows for three nights. Between students, parents, and people who saw it on the news, the theater is packed. This theater also has bats and mice; the bats usually aren’t a problem as they are nocturnal, but the play is at night. A bat switches from flying over the audience to hiding in the rafters continuously as people are being seated. It causes quite a stir in the audience. Note: There is a snack bar outside but people are expected to eat in the lobby — because of the mice there is a very strict no-eating policy in the theater. Most people do it anyway, including me.)

Student Announcer: *over the mic* “Hello, and welcome to Fiddler On The Roof. Before we begin our show, we have a few rules to go over. First, there is no eating in the theater; please take any of the food from the snack bar you stuffed in your bags, thinking we wouldn’t notice, out to the lobby to eat.”

(She waits a moment.)

Student Announcer: “All right. As nobody has gotten up, I can only assume you all are the most perfect audience we have ever had, or you all ignored me and will continue to eat. This is against the rules for everybody except for the bat; he is a VIP guest. Secondly, please do not shout individual actors’ names during the performance; this takes the actors and the other audience members out of the performance. If you see the bat, please do not shout his name, either; he’s not an actor, but he is very sad that he does not have a name. Do not worry; he will take his seat when we dim the lights.”

(The audience is dying of laughter as she talks. She goes over a few more rules.)

Student Announcer: “All right. I think that’s it. The bat has his seat? He has a water bottle and a brownie. Okay, now that the bat is settled in, we will begin our show momentarily.”

(The show went on amazingly; the actors were incredible and never broke character, and everybody was fully immersed in the show. Although we could see the bat flying around the audience and in front of the stage, we assumed with people moving around it wouldn’t fly onto the stage. Lo and behold, when two characters were “frozen in time” facing each other as the main character walked around giving his deep inner monologue, the bat began to fly around on stage. The actor ignored it, but the audience was dying of laughter during this very serious monologue. When the characters were “unfrozen,” the girl began proclaiming her love for the guy standing in front of her. It was supposed to be a serious moment, and despite the actress giving an amazing performance, the bat returned. As the bat flew around behind her, the guy across from her slightly broke character, and his eyes began following the bat. Eventually, the bat flew past directly behind the girl, a wing hit her hair, and then the bat flew directly into a curtain with an audible noise. The two other actors on stage tried to control their laughter and the actress tried to continue her performance while dealing with the fact that a bat had just hit her. It was the funniest thing to happen out of such a serious performance.)

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