Suzanne wrote me an email today that was short on words, but long on content. I realized that my communication has broken down not only on my blog, but also with my family and friends. So I decided to use her email as my tool to help me get my head back into blogging. She had lots of questions for me and I decided to share them periodically this week.
From Suzanne, “I’m thinking you have spring break this week. It probably came at a good time, because you had+ Lunch & Laughs + Improv. Are you still alive? Are you going to post pictures and reviews of Mulan? How did N do?”
I am blessed to have spring break, as I might not have been able to function without it! I have been producing Mulan and Cinderella (Lunch n Laughs), but I also am directing two things at church. One is a drama for Easter morning and the other is a musical that is performed the week after. When I took on Mulan, I had said only through January. I would need to quit in February to work on the musical. I have a hard time quitting a project. I want to see it through. Needless to say it is the middle of March, and here I am.
Thankfully Cinderella is much easier for me to produce! It is a small cast of adult actors. I didn’t think I would be at any of the performances due to rehearsals for my musical, but most of my actors have soccer on Saturdays! So I don’t think it will be a good rehearsal day. So that may work out.
The worst part about this all is that I have felt…ineffective…scattered…forgetful…barely there. I want to be a person that lives in the moment. That is present when people need me and are with me. I haven’t felt that way for awhile. I have felt like I am going 400 different directions. While I’m working on something, I might be thinking about something else. This is something I want to change.
As far as Mulan went, WOW, what a great show! The kids were amazing. This was truly a wonderful group of children. I saw N interact with the cast in ways he hadn’t with others. I saw him develop many friendships and show leadership that he hadn’t in other shows. He is no longer one of the little kids, but now one of the OLDER kids. It was very obvious this show. I am very proud of him.
The first weekend run (and it ran for three weekends) I was VERY worried about ticket sales, and actually throughout the run. In the past we typically have sold most of our tickets preshow and have maybe 25% walk-ups. I think due to the economics of our country that changed. Most of our ticket sales were . Yesterday we basically sold out. We set up an extra row, and I think we only had a handful of seats left.
I really enjoyed listening to people’s reactions. Yesterday I overheard, “Wow! I can’t believe these are kids.” When I tell people about our theatre, I think people expect a typical school play. This is not your usual school play. Our shows are as good as any theatre I have been too (considering our budget, compared to say, Broadway’s! 🙂 )
We had one guy drive from Winterset, which is a good hour plus from our community. He had seen it written up in the newspaper. He loved it and will be coming to our next show. That is part of the magic of our theatre. Even though we are a children’s theatre our shows truly entertain all ages. Another person had seen Mulan performed somewhere else and they really weren’t looking forward to seeing it at our theatre. They were relatives of one of the actors. Apparently the production they had previously seen was very serious and ours was definitely comedic!
N is the Emperor in purple. His friend is the Hun, ready to behead him.
One of my goals when I came on the Board of Directors was to help develop a balance in our theatre. At the time we only performed our mainstage shows. I felt like there was a lack of balance in the education part of theatre. I guess that is why I am so excited about all of our programs. Our Teen Improv, summer classes, and even our Lunch n Laughs help balance out the education vs. performance. We are able to get kids in the lights and sound booth and involved with the backstage duties as well. There are those kids that will never be “on-stage”, but want to learn about theatre. We are beginning to meet those kids.
We have made some mistakes, and we may make more. We are a young theatre, ran by a very talented, dedicated group of VOLUNTEERS. We all work full-time jobs, as well as run this small business. Mistakes and learning adventures will happen. But all in all, I think everyone’s hard work is evident. Our list of hard working volunteers goes back about eight years. Many people have worked hard to create what we have now.
I truly feel like we are unique in our community. I love that.
N is acting as a Father in this scene with A. A played Mulan’s Father.
Now for my mommy moment: N was SO GOOD! I was really proud of him. He had his first real lines and solo. I know I think he has a great voice, but I heard it from lots of people. I hope he continues to sing as he grows up. He was so regal and refined as the Emperor, which for N is way out of character! 🙂