“Now, cue the nuns!” – Katie Kennedy

This whole pandemic thing has led to organizations being forced to move operations online. Katie Kennedy wrote this piece after a Town of Cobourg Committee of the Whole meeting had to be postponed due to technical issues.

The Committee of the Whole are meeting in the beautiful Victoria Hall ballroom to ensure safe distancing during this time and it made me think about all the live arts events that have faced technical difficulties in this grand concert hall!

My dad, Andrew Emery, was doing sound and lighting for the Northumberland Players’ The Sound of Music in the ’87-’88 season under the stage direction of the late and great Terry Sutcliffe.

We still chuckle recalling opening night because Terry had switched his small cue reading light out with a red lamp at the last moment, failing to realize the red light’s impact on the cues he had highlighted in red marker on his script. The lights fell as the show opened rendering Terry, dad, and the crew blind to instructions and timing. All was well until the nuns had their first scene singing in their black robes; the lighting cue was missed and the scene was performed in complete darkness

To add to this, my dad has poor eyesight and could hear the nuns singing but truly didn’t even know they were onstage. After they exited, Terry said through the headsets, “now, cue the nuns!” because even he hadn’t realized they had performed and finished the scene!

Thanks to the Northumberland County Archives & Museum for this contact sheet of images from a The Sound of Music rehearsal in 1988.