Leading lady in 'Doubt' takes a fall, breaks clavicle
One of the lines uttered by leading lady Ellie Martin in the Duluth Playhouse production of "Doubt" reads: "Nuns fall, you know." For Martin, who plays the part of Sister Aloysius -- a role filled by Meryl Streep in the movie version of "Doubt" -...
One of the lines uttered by leading lady Ellie Martin in the Duluth Playhouse production of "Doubt" reads: "Nuns fall, you know."
For Martin, who plays the part of Sister Aloysius -- a role filled by Meryl Streep in the movie version of "Doubt" -- that statement came all too true Wednesday when she fell 4 to 5 feet from the stage shortly before the sponsor's night performance.
"I would say it was a pretty bad fall," said Martin, who learned Thursday she had fractured her clavicle. "I'm pretty sore, but I'm planning on doing the show tonight."
Martin spent Thursday resting and soaking sore muscles in hot baths. She planned to get to the theater early to discuss with co-star John Pokrzywinski and director Tom Isbell how to accommodate her reduced speed and mobility.
"It's a wonderful cast and, like any cast, they have gotten very close over the course of the rehearsal process, so they can make the adjustments that we need to make the play happen," said Isbell, who also is professor of theater at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
After the fall, which occurred during a blackout while rehearsing the curtain call, Martin was taken to the emergency room of St. Mary's Medical Center by a friend who had planned to be in the audience of about 150.
Wednesday's show was canceled, but all audience members, invited by show sponsor RepublicBank, were given complimentary tickets to another performance of "Doubt," which plays this weekend and next.
Both Martin and Christine Seitz, the Playhouse's executive and artistic director, are hoping to turn the mishap to their advantage.
"Having all this physical pain going on can help me forget my nerves and just be the character," said Martin, describing herself as "the gimpy nun."
Seitz said it was the first time in her nine-year history with the Playhouse that anyone had fallen from the stage.
For now, Martin -- who has been acting in Duluth productions since 1991 -- says she will be watching her step, as it's the second time she has fallen from the stage during rehearsal.
During a scene from "The Beauty Queen of Leenane," Martin found herself disoriented during a blackout and stepped off the stage, although it was only a foot high on that occasion.
"I'm a little reticent to develop a legend here," she said, laughing.