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Understudies – to cast or not to cast?

The use of understudies in community theater is a debated topic. There are directors who prefer to have understudies available in case illness or emergency were to make the principle actors unavailable. Others feel that understudies gets short changed because they do all the work and have very little opportunity to perform – especially in community theater where it is all volunteer and the actor is not compensated for their time. It can also complicate the rehearsal process, with double rehearsal time being needed for all people to be thoroughly rehearsed. 

We have chosen, for the first time in afO history, to use understudies for Daddy Long Legs. This show is a two person musical. That means a lot is riding on each person to be in good health and good voice for every performance. These are very demanding musical roles, and the show is in February, when a lot of illness can still be circulating. Our director, Mary Beth Frank, felt more comfortable having understudies who would be able to step in and take over if illness or emergency threatened. 

Our understudies for Daddy Long Legs are Andrew Bower and Bekah Guntle. We’ll introduce each actor in a Facebook and Instagram post soon! Both are extremely talented and will do a fabulous job in their role. 

To make sure they do get performance time, the first Sunday matinee, February 19, will be their performance! 

We are grateful that they are willing to work so hard to make sure that we are able to present a show if one of our principles is unable to perform. 

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