On the stage and behind the scenes

The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 41: Fiasco

directors looking concerned

We opened the NarroWay Theater with a WW2, patriotic-to-the-bone NarroWay original: “Not Just Another Love Story.” During our first year at the NarroWay Theater, that show ran from our opening on July 8, 2006 until Christmas. That is when we turned the beloved “Jerusalem In Lights” into “The Real Christmas Story.”

For the first time ever, the NarroWay cast was WARM during the Christmas show!

For the first time ever, we had restrooms instead of porta-johns! The sound of a flush was the sound of victory!

For the first time ever, the cast had a place with enough room to change costumes, a place with mirrors!!

For the first time ever, the cast didn’t have to “watch for snakes” before going on stage or be warned to re-apply sun screen at rehearsals.

For the first time ever, we took the Weather Channel off the top of our preferred television listing!


And the animals didn’t have to be loaded onto a trailer and transported miles back and forth to the theater.

INDOOR theater! Though indoors came with a brand new set of challenges, we, and the amphitheater cast of NarroWay, vowed to never forget those “glory” days.

outdoor toilet
snake climbing tree
NarroWay Theatre

Speaking of animals ...

Oh! I know what you’re going to say!

...our first rehearsal, INDOORS, with the NarroWay animals!
“Not Just Another Love Story,” our opening show, had no animals on stage so we had no idea what to expect when it came time to rehearse the Christmas show. “The Real Christmas Story” includes every animal NarroWay owns, plus some!

children with lamb
JP the basset hound

Though our animals were very accustomed to being on stage, not even one of them had ever performed indoors.

Can I just say, the story of Noah is glamorized! Try parading a camel, sheep, goats, and donkeys into a music filled theater, onto a stage jam-packed with cast and what occurs is a synchronized animal laxative.

You have heard that a camel’s hump is filled with water. Well, that ain’t so. It is filled with fat. But when a camel “potties” on the stage, it might as well have a hump-full of water because it likens to parting the Red Sea!

camel on crowded stage

Cast members were diving into the seats to save themselves. Children were watching in awe!

Staff members were scrambling for paper towels, buckets, anything...

We needed a sump pump!

We had three - THREE donkeys.
This is a true statement: when one donkey poops on stage, all donkeys poop.

two miniature donkeys
one standard donkey

We actually had SHOVELS on the blasted stage!

Between the sweet holy lines of the amazing story of our Savior’s birth, Rebecca was yelling over the mic, “Don’t step in the sheep poop, stage left!” ... “Goat stuff, center stage! Don’t drag the king’s robe through the goat stuff, people!!” ... “Stage manager! We need more brooms...and buckets...and dustpans...! Stage Manager, can you hear me?”

sheep on stage
shepherds near kings

She’s not telling you what I was saying under my breath!

Every cast member there that day was ready to quit. I even offered my resignation!

My sister, Teresa “Tessie” Brown, was on the stage, too. I’ll never forget the look on her face as she too tried not to succumb to the fecal phenomena. It was like being stuck in a nightmare, one of those dreams where you come out on stage and forget all your lines or discover you have forgotten to put your clothes on or something.

A camel in a 3000-seat outdoor amphitheater can be taken in perspective. But, even though the NarroWay stage is much larger than an average stage, a camel, enclosed with 100 people, some of which have baskets of bread on their heads, messes with your personal space.

We had warned the cast: Never stand behind a large animal – of which there were four on the stage. So, every time one of those large animals turned around on stage, one whole side of the cast would run!

Why? Why? Why, didn’t we have a video camera running that day?

For all those saying: Why didn’t you walk the animals inside and get them used to coming indoors first? ... We did.
For all of those saying: Why didn’t you have a plan for clean-up? ... We did! If you know us, we always have a plan.
But when it alllllllll came together on one stage, nothing went as planned.
This, my friend, was what is known as a FIASCO!

goats locking horns

As usually happens, it all eventually worked out. The cast didn’t quit. Me either. I think Rebecca still suffers from some permanent damage but, other than that, we got it figured out. And so did our four-legged cast!

Now everyone on the NarroWay stage is professionally trained:
This is stage right.
Stage left.
Center stage.
And the poop buckets are located behind the columns!

poop buckets

More Photos

camel in christmas show
donkey dresses as reindeer
christmas show cast
spotted mini donkey
black pygmy goat
chocolate mini donkey
pot bellied pig wearing glasses

Related Posts

Comments 5

Guest - Phyllis Simpson on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:55

I was there for 2 of the shows and it was faultless to my eyes even though I did see a few brooms and shoves very descriptive moving around. ????

I was there for 2 of the shows and it was faultless to my eyes even though I did see a few brooms and shoves very descriptive moving around. ????
Guest - Betty Moore-Bell on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 16:23

Oh.my.goodness! How I have laughed at your misfortune!
I'm so sorry (tee hee)!
Thanks for sharing! The visual is priceless!

Oh.my.goodness! How I have laughed at your misfortune! I'm so sorry (tee hee)! Thanks for sharing! The visual is priceless!
Guest - Amy Manuel on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 17:14

This should be made into a movie. It would be epic!

This should be made into a movie. It would be epic!
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Chapter 42: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!
Chapter 40: In Spite of Everything

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