A theater has always been a magical place for me – but not in the sense that something appears out of nowhere – it is a grueling task to conjure another time and place and bring a story alive in front of an audience. The magic lies in the imaginations of those who choose to participate in that process – the individuals involved and the group they become.
After all of the hours of rehearsal, the troubleshooting of costume, set and prop design elements, the worries and woes of getting everything together in time – it is truly a pleasure for me as the director to open my arms and hand the show over to the kids. That moment of relinquishing my “control” over the play is the ultimate ensemble moment – when the core of the production must shift to the group of performers and crew members behind the scenes, not an outside “eye” offering constant critique and reminders of the choreography and blocking. Like the menacing plant at the centerpiece of this year’s production, the actors must be hungry to arrive at the next level, performance after performance, despite fatigue and the mounting pressures of the closing of the academic term.
There is a misconception, I find, that those who like to perform “love it” and therefore find it easy, effortless, a “vacation” from the rest of living – but, to me, the very best achievements are acquired through long, arduous hours of rehearsing one moment over and over, practicing that set change again and again until a certain rhythm and flow is achieved – cultivating a heightened sense of living for an audience to feed off of and enjoy. Theater is work, and without the full investment of each person involved, the magic is lost. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of joy and passion put into the process as well. But a production is like anything that needs nurturing. We must constantly feed it so that it can grow!
This weekend is about celebrating the labor of love that these 26 kids have dedicated themselves to every day for the past 6 weeks. Come join us in the Fountain Arts Building! The remaining performances are today, Saturday 2/22, at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday 2/23 at 2pm. For reservations please call (603) 563-1285. Tickets are free, donations welcome.