For the past month and a half, our calendar has been full of performing Paul Bunyan in the area schools (thanks to the sponsorship of the Assistance League of Salem). You can't have as many shows as we've had and not come away with at least one incredible story.
At the beginning of a show, Chris picked a young man to play Babe the Blue Ox. Throughout the play, Babe came to the front and helped Paul (Chris) move the buildings, straighten a road, carry trees, and make the six Mississippi Rivers one "big, powerful river." After each feat, Val Do-It (Marian) led the audience in a cheer for Babe the Blue Ox.
After the show, two teachers let us know that the young man is in foster care, that he is bullied sometimes at school. But that day he was in front of everyone being cheered; and those around him would pat his back in congratulations every time he went back to his spot to sit down. "Life-changing" is how one of the teachers put it. A forty-five minute show. Life changing. It's the simple things that make a difference. It makes our struggles as a small for-profit theatre company worth it.
Has there been that moment in time in which a simple thing made a difference for you?
Because we just realized an error we made concerning our upcoming Double Play Saturday, we can't help but think about making mistakes.
It's not quite as deadly as one might think--Embarrassing, Costly, Time consuming but not deadly.
In live theatre, something ALWAYS goes...well, maybe it's just not right. You could say that something went wrong but sometimes it isn't as bad as "wrong" more than it's not quite "right," or at least not what was expected.
When I direct kids, I always warn them, "Something will go wrong. Deal with it and KEEP GOING." One year, part of the scenery fell over. The kids picked it up, and picked up their lines and kept going. Another year, we had a cast member not show up, so the other kids divided her lines among them and kept going. At an outdoor performance, the scenery started blowing away and my 9 year old actress leaned over and caught it while she was saying her lines. It was brilliant.
So rather than not doing something because you might get it wrong, just take the blunder (apologize where needed) and keep going.
By the way, our Double Play Saturday for December is on the 17th not what was previously posted on Cwerks stuff.
If you teach theatre at a middle school and you tell people you teach "Middle School Drama," would they think you're being redundant?
(quote from a theatre friend)