They’re an essential part of any musical – helping to ensure the show goes on – but sometimes they never get to take their bow.
“The hardest part is sitting backstage during the show when I don’t get to go on,” Caitlin Goguen said. “You see the energy of all the other performers, and you feel like you want to be doing that.”
The 24-year-old graduate of Sheridan College is the swing in Neptune Theatre’s production of The Producer’s A New Mel Brooks Musical.
As the swing, Goguen is expected to cover a variety of roles for her fellow female cast mates, who might not be able to performance because they are injured or sick, or need to take a personal day.
In Goguen’s case, she learned all the choreography, harmony and scenes for all the female roles — from a singing Granny to Shirley, a lesbian lighting designer. The only role she doesn’t fill in for is Ulla, the main female part.
“On opening night, I watched the show, and you do feel a bit removed sometimes,” she said. “I do still feel like I am part of the show because we do have a great cast, but you are a different part of the show.”
While being the swing does offer performers the chance to shine in a variety of different roles, some never get the opportunity to appear in front of an actual audience.
Last Tuesday, Goquen got her call after a fellow cast member was unable to go on.
“It was great, you get to learn how prepared you really are,” she said. “I felt great; I was excited to be out there.”