We were just crazy enough to think a building in the process of renovation, with no seats, no permanent lighting, no real dressing room space and no performance history was the perfect place to launch a large-cast, multi-set, singing and dancing extravaganza. That wizard, Steve Coleman, who was working with Luce on the décor for the theatre, agreed to design our sets, which were a huge part of the fun of the show. Steve just happened to have a Cinderella coach in storage. Every inch of backstage wing space was carefully choreographed to accommodate the many sets and large acting company. With an almost entirely non-Equity cast (we could only afford one Guest Artist), and a chorus of eager young performers who learned songs and dances while helping move sets and props backstage, we wowed our audiences. It wasn’t our most polished production, but it sure was fun.
We put the whole thing together in about two and half months from conception to opening night. We had no financial backing or grant funding, but astonishingly we broke even financially. Unfortunately, with the growth of activities at 142 Throckmorton over the next year, and the continuing difficulties of mounting large cast productions there, we weren’t able to figure out how to bring back a panto for a second year. What we had hoped would become a great Marin holiday tradition was, instead, a one-time blast. For years afterwards, people kept asking us when we we would do another panto. We’re just looking for a stage…we’d love to bring back this joyful tradition.