For the second year in a row, I attend Out of the Shadows Theater and their production of Fiddler on the Roof Jr at the Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene (the same theatre that CDA Summer Theatre performs in). Wow! This year is just as powerful as last year’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr.
The premise behind Out fo the Shadows Theater is pretty simple. The actors are composed of adults with special needs. They are joined by non-disabled “shadow actors” who prompt, coach, and support them. A professional crew, set, and lighting team all come together to make a professional caliber show. The process of producing this show began with Auditions in June. 5 months later, a cast of 30 actors and 30 shadows actors took the stage, accompanied by a team of the production staff.
Rachel and I arrived just before the house opened. The lobby was already full. They had a pre-sold house filled to capacity (a necessity after last years open seating plan where nearly 200 people were turned away). I snuck backstage while Rachel set-up for archive images. It was so much fun seeing the excitement and nerves as they prepared for opening night. I did a series of Black and White “backstage” images documenting the process
Once the show began, we started photographing the archives for the show. I used a telephoto lens to get closer detail shots while Rachel had a wide angle lens to get the larger groups and full stage images. The numbers quickly went from a couple of actors to a stage full of song and dance. Together we were able to capture the show without missing a beat. There is a link at the bottom of the page to download them!
The excitement and energy of the audience and performers was unlike any other theatre performance. There was so much love, excitement, and passion from everyone involved. From the impromptu bows mid-scene, to the gentle guidance and line reminders of the shadows, it was a show that made you feel good watching.
If you want to support Out of the Shadows Theater, they have a Go Fund Me campaign happening right now. It’s totally worth donating to keep programs like these alive.
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