(This took longer than promised, because I’ve been trying to figure out how to put a few disconnected stories into one seamless narrative. Ain’t gonna happen, instead, bits and pieces.)
The best meet and greet I ever witnessed happened after Daniel Boone. It’s an almost obligatory part of the Outdoor Drama experience, an event in itself: actors in full costume, engaging with the audience, kissing hands and shaking babies, signing autographs and taking photos. You can always count on a meet n’ greet–unless such meeting conflicts completely with the dramatic impact of the play (like “The Lost Colony,” for instance, which ends with the Roanoke pilgrims, bundled in rags, walking off into the darkness, into their disappearance, thus, into history. Or, say, any of the Passion Plays–I mean, Jesus can’t very well shake hands of good believing folks after having Ascended).
So, after Boone, I see one of the actors, who played a Shawnee Indian in the show, descended on by a pack of hungrily pubescent Girl Scouts who had come, en masse to see the play. These girls, downright vibrating with primordial adolescent energy, the nervous trembling of juices starting to flow where none ever had before, could barely contain themselves over this young man with his bare chest, loin cloth and leggings, not to mention his (historically inaccurate) mohawk.
They kept him talking to them for a solid half hour, during which they asked him, with the boldness of uncontrollable hormones, what he wore under his loin cloth. How old is the youngest guy in the play? Seventeen, he answered, and you could almost see their thoughts: “That’s not too much older than me! ).” They got his autograph. His patience, his politeness, was simply splendid.