• Head games Montpelier Theatre Guild meeting features unusual hats and behavior
    By
     | January 27,2013
     

    Above: Mary Cerutti, left, leans over and slyly whispers to Kayla Kirkland as they participate in a meeting of the Montpelier Theatre Guild on Saturday. Left: Kayla Kirkland and other members of the Montpelier Theatre Guild play the pointing game during a meeting at Union Elementary School.

    MONTPELIER — Heather Jarvis wore a rag with holes and a metal shaving bowl on her head Saturday at Union Elementary School.

    She wasn’t crazy — she was just one of the performers at an unusual board meeting.

    Jarvis was imitating the 17th-century fictional character and chivalry-inspired adventurer Don Quixote. In “Man of La Mancha,” the Broadway musical adaptation of the book, Quixote believed the rag given to him was a gossamer scarf and the shaving bowl was a helmet.

    Actors and actresses wore unusual hats, sang tunes from musicals, and played improvisational games Saturday at Union Elementary School during one of the most candid board meetings in the area.

    Barbara Smith of Montpelier was wearing a hat made of fake fruit, which included a small pineapple and miniature grapes, in homage to the Portugese-born music and film star Carmen Miranda.

    “She was a singer and dancer, and Heather reminded me she did the Chiquita banana commercial,” Smith said.

    The annual meeting of the Montpelier Theatre Guild included some typical board motions as members conducted their business. But individuals indicating approvals, disapprovals and abstentions were required to cast their votes in varying ways, from waving one’s hands in the air while shouting to stomping one’s feet.

    As part of the meeting, members played several improvisational games. One required the group of nearly 20 people to form a circle, then pairs of people would walk into the middle and ask each other questions.

    Another game had two individuals sit in a pair of chairs, with one person acting normally and another pretending to act as weirdly as possible to make the other person leave.

    Several attendees wore hats used in musicals. Other hats were inspired by Broadway productions. Mary Cerutti dressed up as Mary Poppins and Berlin Elementary School art teacher Lynn Spencer wore a cowboy hat with a horse-drawn carriage prop on top as a tribute to the “Oklahoma!” song “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.”

    Spencer said she had always been involved in helping fifth- and sixth-graders in her school’s productions, but she started community theater herself last fall with the group’s production of “The Music Man.”

    The show had six performances in November with a cast of around 45 and some 15 people in the stage crew. The guild aims for one or two performances each year, and the nonprofit organization is looking for show ideas and proposals from interested directors for its next production.

    david.taube@timesargus.com

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