As I write this I am beyond exhausted. I don’t even have an analogy for how bone tired, mentally fried, and emotionally spent I am. This week, Brooklyn and I worked with Lancaster Academy for the Performing Arts to open and close Oliver!
She was in the ensemble and I volunteered as the assistant stage manager. Every night this week we have come home after 10 – exhausted from the non-stop rehearsal process. Then I spend a couple of hours typing up notes, trying to think like a thirteen year old boy so the notes will be just the right balance of information.
For the two months before that we added rehearsals to our regular routine of school and extra curricular activities. Its been a whirlwind, often frustrating, requiring huge sacrifices from our family and friends.
I’ve been involved in theater in one form or fashion my whole life, but it’s been awhile since I worked on a big show like this. I had forgotten how all consuming this activity can be.
Turns out I still love it.
The Theatre-Bug bit me when I was very young. As any other recipient of the Theatre Bug Bite can attest, the effects were permanent.
I’m not sure I can put into words exactly why this particular medium appeals to me. I love the story, the community, the shared experience between audience and artists. There is a certain magic to the way a show comes together for a brief time. It’s like a river, ever flowing so that no performance is ever exactly the same as another.
I did a number of shows growing up and was always doing things with church. In college, I finally gave in and completed a major in theatre arts. That’s when I fell in love with directing. And my husband. We moved to Atlanta so he could participate in an internship with the Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern. I directed and Stage Managed, and started teaching with CYT Atlanta. We moved to Lancaster and I started working with our homeschool co-op and Piercing Word, writing, directing, and teaching. I don’t know for sure if the bug bite effects are passed on genetically or if the bug just bit my children, but they are now in this world called show and I have become a Stage Mom.
It doesn’t seem to matter, whether I’m in the audience, on the stage, behind the scenes, or belting showtunes in the car with my children, I am a theater kid at heart.
Why do we keep coming back, show after show? Auditions are awful. Rehearsals are inconvenient, the work is challenging, and tensions run high, especially during tech week when all the separate pieces are fitting together. But in the end a group of people, sometimes friends, sometimes strangers, have come together, harmonizing their unique gifts and skills, and created something beautiful.
I wonder if it is a shadowy picture of the Church to come, the Body of Christ, working and living together, sharing their gifts and skills, creating order and beauty to the glory of God.