PINEVILLE – The phrase, “the show must go on” has never rung truer to Pineville Players director Eva Montes, who was hit by a car and hospitalized prior to her show’s opening.
Three months after the accident, Montes is still in a wheelchair. She was walking and got hit by a car in November, causing her to fly 30 feet. Montes said she crushed her left arm and left leg and broke her back, vertebrae and ribs. She still has a bruise from falling on her head.
“It’s a miracle I’m alive, let alone directing a play,” Montes said.
Despite all of the injuries she incurred, Montes did not suffer any brain damage and will be able to walk again. Her passion for directing and her love for the upcoming play, “Down To Earth,” kept her going throughout her recovery.
“Down to Earth” is a comedic play set in the 1940s. It follows two angels who descend to Earth to pick up two elderly souls. Trouble ensues when a third angel tags along to cause some mischief.
Montes said she knows audiences will enjoy the play and its surprise ending. She has directed hundreds of shows, but “Down to Earth” is the first she is directing a second time. Something drew her back to this play, even before the accident.
“It’s a play about angels, and I really feel like in real life, my angels protected me because I should be dead,” Montes said.
After the accident, one of the new actresses in “Down To Earth” asked Montes if the show would be canceled.
“I wrote her back and I said, ‘I may not be able to walk, but my mouth still moves,’” Montes said. “I would have to be in a coma for me not to be directing.”
The process of directing, however, has presented many challenges. Montes said she and her actors used the conference room at the rehabilitation center for rehearsals after the accident. She also can’t move around as much in the wheelchair and has people drive her to rehearsals. She has also put strain on her right arm from moving it so much without the use of her left arm, which is still broken.
Montes said for other shows, she has been able to get the word out by driving to local businesses and nursing homes to advertise, but she has not been able to for this show. Through all of the challenges, she said the actors and members of the community have been “more helpful than ever.”
She admitted there have been times she has broken down and cried about the situation.
“It’s been challenging and humbling,” Montes said. “It’s been tough, but the show’s going to go on.”
Want to watch?
The Pineville Players presents “Down to Earth” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21, 22, 28 and 29, as well as 2:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and March 1, at The Hut, Johnston Drive. Tickets are available at www.pinevilleplayers.com.