Today I experienced firsthand the origins of the phrase, “The show must go on.”

Ashley and I walked into the lobby, our hands frozen still with cold Kingston air, clutching coconut waters, to find a few of our cast members huddled together in tense conversation. We awkwardly side stepped them. Next thing we knew, one of our cast members had loaded his belongings into a cab, waved a hand, and disappeared back to Toronto.

We have lost a cast member.

The air pulsed with a sort of dull disbelief; it felt as if someone had died. The show went on, because it had to. We ran through it, bare bones style, in the lobby that night before curtain. Lines were reassigned; choreography was reworked. Small things that we forgot we improvised on stage. We stitched our broken masterpiece together with determination, careful professionalism, and forced energy.

Today the wound has healed a bit, but there is still a bruise. A quietness slips between us, sits beside us on the bus, curls up with us in our beds. We can pretend, but we still know. We still do feel. It is weird and a little crazy in its suddenness, but


the show must go on.

and the audience must never, ever notice the stitches holding together the seams.


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