Eileen Henderson (Producer), Leah Harder Wideman (Stage Manager), Katie Cowier-Redekopp (Production Stage Manager).

In “the Wizard of Oz” there is that great scene where the whole yellow-road posse shows up to see the Wizard. With all the glitz ‘n glam, flames, and booming voice the group is left cowering with awe – that is, at least until the curtain is pulled back and reveals some old guy at a retro microphone with a gearshift.

PSMs, SMs, ASMs, Producers, Lighting Designers, Wardrobe designers, Composers; they are the ones that keep the magic alive. Audiences go to theatre because they want to suspend their disbelief, they want to be swept away by a story, they don’t want to have to tell themselves, “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”.

Last rehearsal Eileen Henderson, producer and overall pillar of support to this project, stopped by to check in on the rehearsal process. As we ran the play for her I truly became aware of the “magic” that has helped to make this show a reality. Eileen – who got behind this idea from the get go, who spent many long hours on the phone answering questions, planning tour dates, chasing down theatre contracts (all while working alongside victims and offenders at MCCO) –  took time from her busy day to check in, reassure us, and give us the heart felt feedback we needed. Katie – who is currently a full-time student and wife, works at a placement, commutes from Kitchener, and volunteers for a sexual assault support line – sat busily taking production notes, pinpointing missing props, scheduling logistics and rehearsals. Leah – who works three jobs (and volunteers another) and is busily trying to learn the SM ropes from Katie – ran sound cues and struggled through the technical difficulties of getting the projector to work.

Without folks like these “Forgiven/Forgotten” would be shooing away Toto yelling, “the great Oz has spoken!” But instead (if plays could talk) “Forgiven/Forgotten” is saying, “dear behind-the-sceners, allow this blog to be a humble but heartfelt thank you”. A thank you for making the magic happen – with or without taking a much deserved, but seldom granted, bow.


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