“The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre” – an excerpt

We're thrilled to be hosting New York Times-bestselling author Robin Talley for this year's LGBTQ+ Annual Author Talk! We hope you'll join us and Robin on Saturday, October 24 at 1 pm, opens a new window for this virtual event, but first, we thought you might enjoy reading an excerpt from her forthcoming book, The Love Curse of Melody McIntyre, opens a new window.

We're grateful to Robin, and HarperCollins Publishers, for allowing us to post this.

Please note this year's author talk will be held via GoToWebinar and requires registration to attend. Attendees must use a computer or device to see the presentation, but will have the option to call in for audio. 

History of Beaconville High School Theater Superstitions—Spring Musicals Edition
Stored on BHS performing arts department shared drive
Created by: Riley Feldmann, stage manager, class of 2008

In the wake of last year’s disastrous performance of the Scottish Play, the Beaconville High School stage manager is hereby responsible for tracking, and enforcing, all superstitions during the rehearsal and performance period for any and all shows, from auditions through strike. All offenses must be dealt with via immediate performance of a countercurse, also to be enforced by the stage manager.

Newly established superstitions must be added to the list below and preserved for posterity’s sake.

Also see the related document “A Brief History of BHS Theater Superstitions—Fall Plays Edition.”

Show Superstition
Cinderella (2008) All cast members must walk out of the dressing room backward when returning from intermission (matinees excepted).
Shrek (2009) Anyone caught kissing in the black box must shout “Sorry for the PDA!” up to the rafters. [1]
Little Shop of Horrors (2010) Immediately before the house doors open on each performance night, Colleen  (assistant stage manager) must stand center stage and shout “Buttheads!” as loudly as possible.
Beauty and the Beast (2012) Bill (sound crew head) must say “pug snout” to the portrait of Abigail Adams in the hall before every rehearsal. [2]
Once Upon a Mattress (2013) All male principals must chant in unison before each rehearsal, “I recognize the textual and subtextual misogyny in this musical and I promise to always strive to do better in my life than these jackass characters.” Members of the ensemble and crew, as well as non-males in any of the above groups, are welcome to join them.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (2014) The first actor to make the audience laugh in each performance is given an extra flower at the end of the show. [3]
The Little Mermaid (2015) All run crew members must wear glitter eye shadow at all times. (This superstition is irrelevant of gender. Mermaids are WAY beyond the binary.)
Sunday in the Park with George (2016) No one can say the word forget onstage or in the choir room unless reciting it as a line in the script (forgot is allowed, though).
Legally Blonde (2017) All cast members with naturally blond hair must apologize to the stage manager during tech week for said blondness.
Fiddler on the Roof (2018) Aquafina bottles are banned from all backstage areas. (Other water brands are technically allowed but we advise taking this as an opportunity to switch to reusable bottles anyway. Climate change is real, people!)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2019) Julio (actor) isn’t allowed to fist-bump anyone. [4]
Les Misérables (2020) Melody McIntyre (stage manager) must not fall in love.

[1] There was some debate as to whether this superstition was limited to kissing or whether holding hands, nuzzling, or other forms of PDA qualified. As a general rule, better safe than sorry.

[2] Based on the number of problems we encountered on this show, we recommend considering in the future banning superstitions that are obviously derivative of Harry Potter; we suspect they may be less effective due to lack of originality. Any allegations that the problems were caused by Bill shirking his duties are malicious lies spread by actors. The stage manager can personally verify that Bill took his responsibility on this front very seriously and never missed a single “pug snout.”

[3] This superstition was cast only; the crew did not believe this worked, so we started a separate superstition of eating XXtra Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in the booth every night, just in case.

[4] It’s a long story.