Monday, December 21, 2009

The Night Before...

May, 2009

Rachel and I were able to corral enough of the cast's energy to get the cues set. She needed to leave, which was perfectly fine. No doubt she could use a break and a tumbler full of Scotch after her harrowing trips to the top of the ladder and her adventures with the lighting equipment.

Because this was a Wednesday, our usual meeting day, the children were not only out of their classrooms during school for rehearsals, but also after school. I needed to get out of the auditorium because others were promised access, so I lined them up and we went to the library.

"Tomorrow's the big day," I started, as they found seats.

"How will we know where to go and stuff?" Henry asked.

"Lyndon, your stage manager, will come to each of your classrooms to get you and bring you to the auditorium. I'll be waiting with your 'Twelfth Night' T-shirts."

This got a big reaction from the girls. Clothes. Need I say more?

"What will we eat?" asked Nathan, with a worried look.

"Well, luckily for us, Nathan, your mom has volunteered to bring the recess snack. Then you'll have your regular lunch break. And after the three o'clock performance, we'll have our company picnic."

Big reaction from the boys. Food. What more can I say?

"What are we doing now?" Geneva asked.

"Good question. And I have an answer. I'm going to show you guys a movie. It's not a movie of a Shakespeare play...but it has Shakespearean elements. Like a kind of war. Like characters cheating. Like characters who want power, love and revenge."

"What movie?" yelled Luis.

"It's a movie about teamwork, and why do you think I might want to show you a movie about teamwork?"

"Because there's no 'I' in team?" offered Geoffrey.

"Correct. Tomorrow you will survive on stage because of each other. Here it is: a movie called 'Drumline'."

I pressed a button on the remote, and on it came in all of its drumming glory. They watched the small television screen, rapt. In the dim light I watched their faces. I was equally entranced. In less than 24 hours they would leave my fingertips because they were ready. For the light, the adventure, and an audience.

I learned how to be an actor and hoe to connect to my character. I also learned how to memerized my lines.

It felt good when they laughed. I knew I wasn't loud enough. I will always remember the fun I had in the Shakespeare club.

Playing the part was cool because I learned not to dress up as a boy.
Polly, 5th grade

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