Saturday, March 7, 2009

Just like Peter Pan, I found my happy thought

This past week I was invited back to my high school to help with their production of Grease. I've suddenly been reminded of why I fell in love with theatre in the first place. There is a moment during a tech day when it starts to feel like a show and not just pieces of wood and random furniture around. It's like magic. You'll be in the house and look up at the half painted set, with the lights changing on it and you know that this is right where you should be.

I was talking with my old theatre teacher today about when we realized that anything is possible in theatre. His was doing Midsummer Night's Dream and mine was Trojan Women. We were both mid-tech, and were standing in the house looking at a half finished project and it just felt right.

These kids in this show are so great. They haven't been poisoned by the bitterness of the business yet. It's all fresh and new and exciting. And everyone works together and continues to learn and they put on the best show they can.

Plus my high school theatre was crap when I was a student. Now the space has been renovated and they have new equipment and better lights and a sound system and so much more talent than we could have ever hoped to have when I was in high school.

This just reminds me that I should be a teacher, and that I need to get back into being part of a production, perhaps I could combine the two. I originally took a hiatus from theatre because I felt burnt out. It was no longer fun, the last director I worked with was such a mean person, and everyone was so angry all the time. I found most of the time there was never enough time, money, or talent and rather than dealing with it or fixing it, people would just stand around, smoke their cigarettes, drink their coffee and complain about it. And that gets very old very quick.

But with these kids, everyone is so eager and willing, it makes the whole production so much more enjoyable. Even the adults involved are jazzed about it. Because they know the kids are putting their heart into it. And that is what really matters.

I left tech today with paint on my clothes and under my nails, but so content with the work we had done. The stage manager has never stage managed before and she is starting to come to me with questions. And she is starting to make this show hers. Once rehearsals start on Monday, the stage is hers, no longer the directors. She has this glint in her eye that is so refreshing and reminds me of when I was excited to take over the run of a show.

I would love to get back there again. Back to where theatre is magic and a team effort and with all it's hardships, still a joy to do.

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