The stage lights go up in the Lyceum Theatre, revealing a woman with a straggly gray braid dozing on a couch and a half-dozen actresses dressed in nightgowns playing teenage girls. They swarm the rickety, overstuffed cabin interior that is the set of the Broadway horror play “Grey House,” thumping the floorboards, crouching on a shabby dining table, scurrying up and down stairs slamming doors, and chanting in spooky unison: Get in the house girl, it’s time for dinner!
The vibes are more cheerful in a dressing room above the stage where Erin Rosenfeld keeps an eye on the backstage monitors. Rosenfeld, a 2023 Northeastern University graduate, serves as understudy for three of the teenage roles—primarily “Bernie,” a silent, deaf character who communicates through sign language. When the show first opened this past spring, Rosenfeld and her fellow standbys paid close attention, taking notes on blocking changes and line cues in case they had to go on. But this is the play’s last week before closing on July 30; they know their parts inside out. “We’ve gotten more comfortable, and there’s a lot more shenanigans that occur backstage,” she says. The auxiliary cast spends hours bonding in a comfy greenroom in the Lyceum’s basement, playing games and bedazzling each other’s faces.