This turned out to be a terrific show. The kids always make us tear our hair out, and they keep the secret until Opening Night that they actually know what they’re doing.
The Closing Night party is always a tear-jerker, and an eye-opener. This is where the Director and I learn just how much of a positive effect we have had on the kids. We learn about all kinds of things that have been going on in their personal lives, how often families are dysfunctional, how kids have been bullied at school, and how coming into the Drama Room is their discovery of a safe place, where they are accepted and allowed to be who they are without judgement.
I was recently at a production of another high school show a couple of weeks ago, and got into a brief discussion with a woman who was appalled that someone with a lead in the show isn’t a strong singer, (and she has a background in theatre, you know, so she knows what she’s talking about!) I reminded her that this is an educational facility, not a professional theatre. And whether a kid is a strong singer or not they learn so much from being in a show like this! I am exceedingly proud of our young people who throw themselves into their performances with tons of energy, and they pull it off whether or not they can sing well. Often they learn to sing better than they could before! And frankly, that isn’t what it’s about.
This is the place I always come back to when I try to explain how important it is to keep the performing arts in schools. The kids need it. And they learn more than they will ever know.