I arrived at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater to find Brian Feldman, Sultana Ali and my wife Terry relaxing in lawn chairs in the parking lot. Sultana's Nissan Pathfinder had it's tailgate open exposing her clutter. I noted the clutter, like her Vasque hiking boots and a dinosaur puzzle, since she asked me to neaten things up in the sketch. Brian offered Terry a non-alcoholic drink since she arrived just moments before I did. Brian initiated this tailgate party for "The 39 Steps" which was having its first matinee performance that day. The truck's stereo was playing a book on tape reading of the John Buchan book the play is based on. I sat in the shade across the way to sketch. Sultana jogged over and put a pirate head eraser on my pencil. Then Matt Simantov arrived with Amanda Chadwick who was hooting and hollering. "Oh Yea! Time for a theater tailgate party! Wooo!"
This tailgate party had been going on since about nine that morning with the actual play starting at two. I arrived for the last hour figuring the largest number of people would be involved right before the show. This is an inspired idea. I'm usually rushing to get to performances on time. In fact, I missed one Fringe performance by being late. It would be so nice to arrive early, socialize and enjoy great conversations with friends at a relaxed tailgate. I hope arts groups around town adopt and expand on the idea, or I hope Brian expands the premise. This idea has a touch of the Fringe about it and its time has come.