Addressing them directly was the best way to flush them out. Sam, the floor manager, who knew all the kids’ families, would stand center stage and call them by name, “You up there Randall? Wone be pretty… fi hafta come getcha...” “Nicky, hear me now. Doh make me tell yo Mama...”
Exit doors on unoiled hinges groaned, followed by the rapid slap of sneakers flying down the fire escape.
What did they want? How many Snickers bars can one adolescent boy consume? Or was it a night in the shadows back stage they were after?
The theater is a magic — even a sacred — space, a kind of human-made cave. Tired as I was at the end of a theater day, it was hard to go home, so who could fault a boy? It was, for all of us, our Luray Caverns, our Lascaux, the screen, a cave-wall waiting for the splash of pigmented light.