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Cut the Lights

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136 pages
Briar has a vision for the one-act play she's been chosen to direct at her performing arts high school. She's going to create a masterpiece. If only everyone involved in the production shared her vision. Her leading lady is gifted but troubled, her leading man has a crush on the leading lady, her stage manager doesn't have a clue, and her best friend, who wrote the play, is worried that Briar's production is cursed. As Briar struggles to motivate her cast and crew, she learns some important truths about the fine art of directing, and about herself.
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CUT THELIGHTS Karen Krossing
CUT THELIGHTS Karen Krossing
Copyright ©2013Karen Krossing
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Krossing, Karen, 1965 Cut the lights [electronic resource] / Karen Krossing. (Orca limelights)
Electronic monograph. Issued also in print format. isbn 9781459804142 (pdf).isbn 9781459804159 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights (Online) ps8571.r776c87 2013jc813’.6 c2013901912x
First published in the United States,2013 Library of Congress Control Number:2013935386
Summary:Briar has been chosen to direct a oneact play at her performing arts high school, but she learns there’s more to it than imposing her vision on the cast and crew. Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Design by Teresa Bubela Cover photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers orca book publishers po Box 5626, Stn. B po Box 468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wausav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com 161514134321
For Paige and Tess, who shared their stories.
One
A tidy kitchen. Early morning. A vase of lilies sits on the granite countertop. y parens cew eîr oamea wîou akîng. Dad sares seadîy ou e eMnewspaper oded besîde er bow. Upsaîrs, wîndow a e îac booms. Mom reads Mom’s muc younger sîser, Dara, umps rom room o room, oerîng abou a os nose rîng, reaenîng o brîng er caos downsaîrs. ï sîp on my new gasses—red ca’s-eye rames, no enses—and posîîon myse near e sînk so ï can see e abe and a. “Gasses?” My moer ooks puzzed. “Bu your eyes are Ine, Brîar.”
1
K A R E N K R O S S I N G
“Yup. hey aVe no rames, so ï can see ceary.” ï poke my Ingers ou roug e eyeoes and wîgge em around. “ï’s symboîc.” “Wy are you wearîng em?” Her nose wrînkes. “ïs îs a rend a a scoo o yours?” Dad owers îs spoon. “rends are or oowers,” ï expaîn, eVen oug î’s poîness. “hese gasses remînd me o înk îke a eaer dîrecor—ey rame e scene.” Mom pînces er îps ogeer. “You’re sî akîng abou dîrecîng?” Dad’s one o Voîce says e opes ï’ ougrow î. “Yup.” ï pour myse a gass o mango juîce, îmagînîng a rosy uure were my parens accep my dreams as more an wîmsy. ïmpossîbe, ï know, bu beore you judge em, ry o undersand. Dad îs a bookkeeper. No a useess proessîon; eVen eaer dîrecors need o rack budges and maybe eVen îcke saes. Mom’s job îs more baîng—se’s an oîce manager a a sock company. he pace îs paînuy prac-îca—uness you make sock puppes and pu on a sow. ï go în roube or doîng a on “ake Your Kîd o Work” day.
2
C U T T H E L I G H T S
“Were woud you ge a job as a dîrecor?” Dad asks. ï’m ready wî numbers—î eps o speak îs anguage. “Dîd you know a as year ere were227producîons în îs cîy?” ï down my juîce and pocke a granoa bar or aer. “Reay.” Dad rowns. “a încudes187companîes proessîona wî62Venues and oVer38,000seas, no încudîng oudoor Venues, eaers wî ess an400seas or comedy cubs.” “You seem o know wa you’re akîng abou.” Dad raîses îs eyebrows. “Yup.” ï smîe, jus as my aun Dara comps down e saîrs în er îg-eeed boos. ï adjus my gasses, ready o Vîew e u împac o e upcomîng drama. “Mornîng.” Dara wîss er nose rîng îno pace. Dad grîmaces and Mom nods. ï waVe eo, admîrîng ow e sunîg cus beween Dara and my parens, dîVîdîng e kîcen în wo. As Dara urns o e coeemaker, er oVersîzed aîr-rade bag rom Nepa knocks oVer e Vase on e îsand.
3
K A R E N K R O S S I N G
“Dara!” Mom eaps o cac e Vase. Se ends up wî er bouse drenced and îîes spîîng down er ron, bu se caces e Vase beore î saers. Dara swîngs around, wîde-eyed. “Dîd ï do a?” ï îs were a sage, ï’d pu a mîc oVer e îsand o capure e dîaogue. Dad sîgs and rubs îs eyes. Mom grabs a cean dîsowe and sars moppîng up waer, er oreead creased. “Le me ep.” Dara pucks îîes of e loor, seîng em în e Vase a bîzarre anges. “ï’Ve go a job înerVîew wî Fînders Keepers îs mornîng—ey Ind odd props or Tv commer-cîas. Maybe îs îme ï’ ge ucky!” Dara cas erse an acress, aoug se ardy eVer ges caed or audîîons anymore. Now se’s ryîng o ge a beînd-e-scenes job. “Maybe îs îme you’ keep a job or more an wo weeks,” Dad muers. He aes î wen Dara îs ou o work because se aways moVes în wî us. Se’s been ere wo mons îs îme— ong enoug o se îm on edge.
4
C U T T H E L I G H T S
Mom rearranges e jumbed lowers wîe gîVîng Dara a dîsapproVîng ook. “Wy can’ you ge an ordînary job îke eVeryone ese?” ï consîder rebockîng e scene—urnîng Dara’s body oward e audîence, and moVîng Dad so Mom’s no maskîng îm. “Wy woud ï wan o do a?” Dara pans er ands on er îps. ï eaVe or scoo, promîsîng myse ï’ be anyîng bu ordînary.
* * *
A school hallway buzzes with students. Ten minutes to first class.
Sonaa, e bes acor în e scoo, wazes pas în a wîe mînîdress wî sraegîc rîps în a e rîg paces. A guy dressed îke Ared Hîccock Ims a kîd wî a purpe moawk. wo grade-weVe gîrs sîngPhantom of the Operasongs a u Voume. Lîke Prîncîpa Racîer says a eVery assemby, “You can be anyîng you wan a Wîock Scoo o e Ars.”
5