There was a fire next door and….

Unrepeatable Tech-15

photo by Edward T. Morris.”

Photo by Edward T. Morris
I’ve been silent the past few weeks because I’m in rehearsals for a play, The Unrepeatable Moment by John Yearley at The Barrow Group Theater in NYC. Yesterday, during our first rehearsal run with lights and sound, fire alarms went out and we had to evacuate the building. No time to change costumes or grab a coat, many of us walked out in our costumes. The play I’m in takes place in spring… so I was in light pale pants with a mid-sized suit jacket and under shell with heels and no hose.  My first thought was to take the turn up the stairs to the dressing room to grab my coat and the lock box with my wallet… but remembering 9/11…I went directly down the stairwell with only what I had with me.

When we got outside the street was filled with smoke. That smoke cloud triggered me and I burst into tears…as I walked. I was scared. And as I walked, shivering, I felt a strong-arm around my waist and a hand in mine…it was my scene partner Amy . She walked with me as I cried and guided me down the street telling me everything was going to be okay. An actor named Jeremy who is in the first play of the evening, passed us scarf covering his face…saying… “Cover your face. Cover it.” guiding his scene partner …who had her face covered as they moved down the street towards clear air.

We walked downtown towards 34th st and paused… the entire crew and cast gathered. I had my phone with me and the texts started pouring in . Our Stage manager Kacey was telling us where to meet. Our artistic director, Seth checked in with each of us telling us everything was going to be okay. Our Director Lorrel  checked in with Amy and me and immediately supported me with a hug when he saw me crying. I had checked my wallet in with our stage director and was worried because I had no money on me or my ATM cards our other director Shannon, reassured me that I was covered…she even said..”we got your back”.
The fire was actually right before we were scheduled for dinner break….so Seth instructed us all to just go to the Tick Tock Diner and hang out and eat. So, we did.  Kacey immediately sent out a group text instructing everyone to check in and meet at the diner.   My tears stopped, and I broke my 40 day vegan diet and ordered a Philly cheese steak… with fries and steamed broccoli.  I needed some fucking comfort food. Lilly offered kind words and Trish held my hand and I felt better. I felt safe for the moment.

We ended up just eating together while we waited for word.  Other groups who were meeting for rehearsal stopped by to say hello as they sat at another table and it was like a Barrow Group Theater Party at the Tick Tock Diner on 34th st.

About 2 hours passed and our producer Porter told us the fire was not in our building, but two doors down and that we would be able to get back into the theater in 30 minutes and we could do our invited dress rehearsal at 8:00pm.

I’m usually the one in an emergency who is calm and helping others…but yesterday, I couldn’t.  But there were folks who could and did and for that I’m grateful.

People who aren’t involved in the entertainment industry are guided to think that creative process is individual.  We see the actor on stage screen or film and immediately focus on the individual.  But that individual is just a small part of a collective community that is working together in order to tell the story. The people who run lights, sound, costumes, set, direct, manage the stage and the actors, props, box office, PR, cleaning crews, catering… all make a production come together.

When an emergency happens, these awesome folks still are able to kick into full gear to coordinate and care for and support one another…this is what it means to feel safe.  This is what community feels like.

In a world where safe space is fragile….it’s important to acknowledge when we are cared for and know that everyone is capable of being able to support one another when things get rough.

I am so grateful to be a part of  the community that is…The Barrow Group Theater company.

We did our second run last night and have our first previews  of our show today.  Here’s to the crew…sending you so much love and gratitude for all your hard work, professionalism and loving kindness.

photo by Edward T. Morris."

photo by Edward T. Morris.”

Unrepeatable Tech-6

Our Stage Manager Kerry is amazing. photo by Edward T. Morris.”

Unrepeatable Tech-10

photo by Edward T. Morris.”

The Barrow Group presents a TBG MainStage Theatre Production of THE UNREPEATABLE MOMENT: Short Plays by John Yearley.

The Unrepeatable Moment will celebrate the work of John Yearley. The evening includes six short plays: A Low Lying Fog, Hating Beckett, Slave, Horrible Person That I Am, My Father’s Heart, and Racist Donut. Each of these short works offers an intimate look at powerful transformative moments.

Directed by
K. Lorrel Manning & Shannon Patterson

Jeanine T. Abraham*, Tricia Alexandro*, Brant Amundson, Ryan Black, Lily Dorment*, Tony Drazan, Jeremy Folmer*, Deon Frank, Mike Giese, Daniel Guggenheim* and Amy Loughead*

*appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Scenic Design
Edward Morris

Lighting Design
Marika Kent

Stage Manager
Kacey Gritters

Press Representative
Matt Ross


November 15, 16, 18,19, 20, 22 & 23 @ 8pm
November 21 @ 3pm & 8pm

December 1, 2, 3, & 4 @ 8pm
December 5 @ 3pm & 8pm
December 6 @ 3pm

or call 866.811.4111

TBG Theatre
312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10018

between 8th and 9th Avenues
A, C, E, N, Q, R, S, W, 1, 2, 3, to 34th Street

Unrepeatable Tech-14

photo by Edward T. Morris.”




About VisAbleblackwoman

Entertainment/Wellness Journalist, Writer, Playwright, Actor, Producer, Vegan Chef Contributor - Black Girl Founder - VisAbleblackwoman Productions
This entry was posted in community, support, theater and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to There was a fire next door and….

  1. Renata says:

    Thanks for writing this. I am grateful everyone is okay. Bless you and the spirit of community at the Barrow Group.


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