Those of us members of the “old guard” of Tryon Little Theater were saddened late last week to learn of the passing of Dorothy Burns.
Dorothy was “THE” rehearsal prompter for TLT for at least most of the 80’s and 90’s. I can remember working with her on many shows in the mid to late 90’s.
In those bygone days, all our rehearsals were on the stage of TFAC. “THE” prompter would sit in a chair stage right tucked against the proscenium. While a scene was in progress, she would not watch the actor but instead be looking at the script, following it with her pencil line by line as the actors said each one aloud—at least in some variation. Actors, you see, tend to rewrite on the fly. Dorothy would have none of it. She would notate where an actor had gone off-script and was always ready should an actor finally give up the struggle and call “line.”
She was a lady of elegance, intelligence, humor and, most especially, class. Below is a link to her obituary in the Tryon Daily Bulletin as well as a couple of memories of Dorothy.
Please consider making a donation in her name to Tryon Little Theater to honor her dedication to our theater. http://www.tryondailybulletin.com/2015/01/22/dorothy-ann-dye-burns/
Dorothy was as open and honest (sincere and fun loving) a person as anyone could ever hope to meet. I remember wonderful gatherings at her home, my wife Cathy really remembers one cast party (it may have been Lion In Winter) where she wound up in the pool fully clothed. I also remember asking Dorothy, “I have this feeling that I have a choice when it comes to the pool, either fully clothed or au naturel?” She just grinned and refilled my glass! In that same period she had her daughter living with her so we had the pleasure of getting to know her. the one other thing we had in common was Washington, DC, my home town and a city Dorothy really enjoyed.
- John Calure
Without question, Dorothy was THE best prompter I ever had the pleasure of working with. She had the uncanny knack of knowing just how long to hold to give the actor a chance to remember the line, and then she was ready instantly when they finally called “Line.” And she’d give just enough of the start of the forgotten line to jog the actor’s memory. Always so patient with us!
And decades ago when our son, Barry, who was visiting over Christmas needed to train for a Navy fitness test swimming in full clothing and gear, Dorothy filled up her indoor swimming pool which had been drained so that Barry could go over to her house several days in a row and jump in fully clothed. With Dorothy’s kind help making her pool available, Barry passed the needed test for his Navy certification.
And now I read of her amazing life in her obit — so much I didn’t know about the far-flung challenges and adventures in her lifetime! The last time Elvin and I saw Dorothy was at Bilo years ago. She knew she knew us, but couldn’t remember our names, so she just asked us — working hard to access the memories that were becoming clouded.
What a lady!!!! And what a thoughtful friend.
- Connie Clark