Most of the ensemble from Homespun had come to the party, friends from church, and fellow professors from BWU. Kat was surprised to realize she knew most of the people, and then pleased. She hated parties where she felt like people were staring at her back, wondering why she had been invited or flat out wondering who she was. She wasn't the youngest person at the party, as she had feared. Dr. Holwood and his wife were foster-parents, and they had brought their current crop of children. When all three asked, nearly in unison, if they could see inside the theater, Kat volunteered to give the children a tour. It would keep them out of the traffic during the last-minute fussing and scurrying around to set up the party, and take pressure off Emily, who had been the target of the big-eyed pleas.
"You're a God-send," Emily said. "Thank you."
"Anywhere I should avoid?" Kat asked, as the little girl, Tiffany, caught hold of her hand and the two boys -- who hadn't introduced themselves yet -- raced for the door into the scene shop. Obviously they had been here often enough to at least know what was the entrance to the house and what let them into the theater proper.
"The costume shop is chaos, and I'd ask permission from Audrey before going into her kitchen --"
"Nothing dangerous," Audrey called from under the tent, where she was setting a gray bus pan full of crushed ice into a larger, covered bin. "In fact, I could use some help getting rid of some experiments." She wiped her hand on the towel tucked into the waistband of her shorts and hurried over to them. "You have to promise me it won't spoil your appetites, though."
Kat noticed she looked at Mrs. Holwood as she made that condition, eyes widening, clearly asking permission. The diminutive black woman muffled laughter and nodded, silently giving permission while the two boys let out cheers.
"The scene shop is still fairly safe. No equipment plugged in or half-finished scenery sitting out and ready to collapse on anyone," Emily added. She made a shooing gesture at the scene shop door. "Why don't you finish the tour with the fireman's pole?"