Webster Theatre Guild cast handles fire alarm in unique way

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Theatre company less than two weeks away from "Addams Family" premiere

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Webster Theatre Guild doesn’t usually rehearse like this. Let alone less than two weeks before their premier of their big production of “The Addams Family.”

“When we realized we couldn’t go back into the building, we figured we’re all still here, might as well rehearse in the parking lot,” said Elissa Burke, a co-producer and stage manager for the Guild’s upcoming performance of “The Addams Family.”

Their rehearsal space at Webster Thomas High School had a false fire alarm go off.

“Because it wasn’t a drill or planned, we had to treat it as a real fire,” Burke said. “My initial response was ‘what the heck did we do?’ After a quick surveillance, I realized that there was nothing we could have done in this situation, we can’t set the fire alarms off. So it’s making sure that the entire cast and crew is out safely. Once I knew we were all safe, I switch into ‘we can’t really waste the time just standing here and talking. We’ve had plenty of time to bond, we’ve had four weeks, let’s get back to work.'”

Photo by Jen Swab-DeGrace

Rehearsing outside has its challenges.

“First the lack of accompaniment and instruments,” Burke said. “We have a wonderful musical director who provided that vocally, as well as the unlevel terrain and dark.”

But the cast of 40, with additional crew of five, is ready for their debut show October 11th. You can find ticket info here.

And as it turns out, even opening night had a fire alarm go off.

“Everyone was okay,” Burke said. “All patrons (over 200) exited orderly with the cast and crew and after approx twenty minutes the fire department gave us the all clear to head back in and start the show at the top of Act II Scene 4 and the cast, crew and orchestra were amazing.”

Burke said the fog from the fog machine caused the alarm to go off.

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