Liz Galbraith is a long-time supporter of Quick As A Wink and the recipient of this week’s Spotlight!
Liz has been involved with QAAW for the past decade. “My first encounter with Quick As A Wink was in 2005 when my friend Kim and I co-wrote a review of Glory Days for The Hants Journal,” Liz says. “I was so impressed with the caliber of talent, not just in the cast, but the staging, lighting and music. I was thrilled we had such an impressive theatre troupe right here in Windsor. When my daughter, Samantha, expressed an interest in theatre at age nine, we were very thankful to have Quick As A Wink to help nurture her aspirations. She started with the summer theatre camps the first year they were offered and has been in them every summer since. That led to her being involved in one of the Quick As A Wink’s bigger productions, Oklahoma!, in 2014, and that’s when Michelle Herx deftly drafted me into being what I refer to as a “Dressing Room Mom” to help all the cast with their costumes. I even did a few wardrobe alterations and prop repairs at that time, which then led to other responsibilities on all the shows since then.”
Liz has tried her hand at a number of different tasks for us over the years and been a great help during our productions. “I’ve made and altered wardrobe pieces and accessories, gathered and created props, helped build, paint and dress sets, ushered and served as stage hand,” Liz says. “Basically, tasks that don’t require me to have any dramatic, directorial or musical talent, I’m up for giving a try!”
Liz takes great pride in the work that she does for QAAW. “I love the challenge of making stage props and having them succeed. Props need to be durable and look authentic, even if they are made just from Styrofoam and duct tape, and they must enhance an actor’s performance, not hinder it. I’ve had a couple ‘prop mishaps’ but nothing catastrophic. Thanks to talented actors, they made the mishaps look intentional and in one case [during You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown] they ended up getting a good, unscripted laugh from the audience. Making props for Little Shop of Horrors was especially fun, too, because of the gore. At one point I had 35 feet of freshly painted fake intestines hanging on my clothesline to dry. The sight of it made me giggle.”
One of Liz’s favorite things about theatre, however, is the effect it has on everyone who participates and the excitement it produces. “My favorite memory with Quick As A Wink came at the end of opening night of Oklahoma!,” she says. “The cast had worked so incredibly hard for months and they got their reward that night with a standing ovation from the audience. One of the first off the stage was one of the little girls from the ensemble. She came flying down the back stairs and down the hall, squealing, ‘They LOVED us!’ When I saw the sheer joy in that little girl after getting a standing ovation, I realized that a stage production, including everyone on stage and behind the scenes, is a single entity that facilitates a unique, often magical relationship with the audience. There’s a ton of work that goes into a production, but I think the secret is for all that work to be almost invisible so that what comes to the audience looks and feels sincere and effortless. There are no second takes when it’s live on stage, and that’s probably a big reason why people are drawn to act in and be patrons of live theatre.”
Liz has a variety of interests, but she finds her QAAW commitments are often at the forefront. “When I’m helping with a QAAW production, I have no time for other hobbies or interests!” she says. “But I’m lucky that I work mostly as a freelance writer and editor, which gives me some flexibility. When I have some free time, I like to build things like tables, boxes and cabinets out of vintage doors and reclaimed wood. I also make jewelry.”
Thank you for all your contributions to QAAW, Liz! Your work has been wonderful and an integral part in our productions!
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