This coming Wednesday, for the first time, I’m bringing a group of students to DramaFest at our local high school. It’s been an interesting journey full of ups and downs. I’m mostly very excited to have my theatre life and school life collide. Mostly.
When I started at this school, the other teachers found out that I spend most of my non-teaching time doing theatre and so they told me that I was going to be heading up the drama club this year, taking a show to DramaFest and that they wanted to do a musical this year. With the help of two other teachers we decided to do Annie. I expected, like last year, that we’d have maybe a dozen kids show up, give everyone who auditioned a part or three and go on from there. There are about 30 roles in the show. We had 60 kids show up for the first meeting. 60! We could only take about 30 to DramaFest. In fact, we only wanted to take about 20 but after auditions we ended up taking 34 and now we’re down to 32.
I think the show is coming along really well. Yes, we only have a few more days before we perform and yes, it’s not perfect. Yes, some of the students are cutting off each others’ lines and yes, some of them don’t know the choreography still. But they’re kids. They’re between the ages of 7 and 10 and they’ve only been rehearsing for a few months and it’s a big show. Lots of songs, a few big dance numbers and some of them have a lot of lines to learn. And most of them know their stuff pretty well. Tomorrow we have a rehearsal at school for a few hours (on a Sunday). We perform for the school on Tuesday and then it’s off to DramaFest on Wednesday.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a perfectionist. Maybe it’s because I’m just proud of all the work that they’ve done and while it’s not going to look and sound like a professional company or even like the amazing middle school production I got to see last year, I’m happy with the big picture. I happy with the fact that they’re up on the stage enjoying themselves and getting a small taste of the wonderful draw of performing. And if even a few of them go on to do theatre in the future then I’ve done my job as an educator.