The Hot Springs Village Players knew that A Bag Full of Miracles would be a hit when half of the tickets sold out in two days. The company wasn’t disappointed–a whopping 1630 people saw their show! Linda Nichol, the producer said, “The play was extremely well received and the audiences loved it. We consider it a huge success!”
Here’s how they did it:
Using the “shocking pink” color — our costume department made simple cosmetic smocks for our ushers to wear. Each smock had a laminated Miracle Products label attached to a large flower. Our ushers then had small, empty pink bottles and powder puffs and they supposedly applied the miracle cosmetics to various audience members — “See, you can hardly tell you are wearing any makeup, etc.” This warmed up the audience.
We had one of our backstage hands come out and pick up a violin which was placed on a chair in front of the curtain — as he “bowed” the violin the orchestra tuneup track was played — then it went into the overture music!
During the first intermission, Elmer Strunk mingled with the audience, passing out lawyer cards, and inquiring of the ladies whether they were married or not and could he offer any financial advise to them!
During several of our scene changes, a member of our ensemble would walk across the stage with a large pink shopping bag with the time written on the side — 2 Weeks Later, 6 Weeks Later, etc. The audience loved that since it gave them a frame of reference without looking at their programs. The audience even got so involved they started “booing” Elmer Strunk when he came out to do his song.
The whole point was to give the audience a chance to be a part of the show — We even had our back stage grips “wave” at the audience whenever they had to come out to move things to setup a scene!