Charlie Brown and the Tornado

In honor of Theatre Horizon turning seven we will be posting our most memorable stories from the past seven years. This one comes from Artistic Director and Co-Founder Erin Reilly. Share your stories at Facebook.com/TheatreHorizon!

“In 2006, we had the bright idea to present the musical Charlie Brown outdoors in a gazebo in King of Prussia one weekend.  The set and sound system were too big to break down every night, so [Resident Director and Co-Founder] Matt Decker and I decided we would just sleep in a tent overnight to ‘guard the stuff’ from any vandals that might be roving the suburbs.  That night, a bizarre tornado and storm ripped through town and we spent most of the night trying to tie down the set and secure props that were blowing around.  To escape the rain, Matt and I pitched our tent on concrete under the roof of a community building, and got a total of 15 minutes sleep between the concrete, the park auto lights going on and off, and the tornado.  After the sun came up, and Charlie Brown was mostly still intact, we dragged our butts to work at the Consortium summer camp, where we were directing teenagers in Bye Bye Birdie.  It was a painful day!  After that, we vowed never to do outdoor theater again.  The next year, we moved the company to Norristown’s Centre Theater and–with the exception of Shakespeare–have performed indoors ever since.”
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