Friday, October 22, 2010

The Notes



Once the audience had left the auditorium after the 10:30 dress rehearsal, I gathered the cast and crew together for notes.

"So, listen up for notes. In the theatre, once the actors start to perform for an audience, the show is really turned over to the stage manager and he or she keeps it together. I will have notes for you and so will Ms. Rachel but we'll listen to anything Celia has to say to begin."

I turned to our ten-year-old stage manager. She held her official stage manager's binder on her lap and opened it to a series of carefully penciled thoughts.

Phoebe (Lady Macbeth).


"I think it was pretty good," she started in her soft voice, "but Phoebe [Celia's real-life sister and Lady Macbeth], you need to speak louder. And Chloe didn't kneel to King Macbeth. You need to kneel, Chloe. And good voice, Garth."

"Is that it, Celia?"

She nodded.

"Okay. I would agree with Celia that it was a pretty darn good first show before an audience. In fact, the best first performance we've ever had in Shakespeare Club. So, congratulations on that."

The cast high-fived, cheered and applauded themselves.

"I'm going to stop you there. You still have a ways to go, some more than others. Phoebe, it wasn't just that we couldn't hear you, it felt more like you weren't here at all. Know what I mean?"

Phoebe gave a nod.

"I think you got cold feet and tried to disappear. Did it feel like that?"

She smiled and nodded again.

"Okay, I'm here to tell you this, Phoebe: You are ready. You know this part, you know what to do and now it's time. Go for it."

Bigger smile.

Oliver (Lord Macbeth) and Phoebe (Lady Macbeth).


"Honestly guys, there was exactly one actor here who stepped forward, grabbed the light and bravely played his part."

This comment caused heads to turn and fingers to point as everyone tried to guess.

"Oliver, thank you for leading the way. You're going to have a great day because you'll only go up and up and have more fun with each performance. Do you all agree with me?"

They shouted "yes" because they love to shout. His buddies patted Oliver on the back and he shyly accepted the praise.

Henry shot his arm up.

"Yes, Henry?"

"I would like to make a comment."

"Okay."

"I would like to say, Oliver, you were awesome, man!"

"Okay, thank you for that. Now, you're all released for lunch and we'll meet back here at 12:30 to warm up before our one o'clock performance."

It was 11:45 and I was already pooped, with three more shows to go. I brushed my teeth, fixed my lipstick and sat alone quietly while Rachel went off to grab some lunch.

At 12:15 I went outside for some air and a tiny five-year-old ran toward me, stopped, tilted her chin and looked up.

"I know you!" she cried out.

"Did you see the play," I asked.

"Yes!"

They love to shout.

"Did you like it?"

"Yes!"

And that's another reason to do it again and again and again.

Because, like Macbeth says, "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...."


CHILDREN'S WRITES: A Journal Entry
I wanted love when I had a very bad school. I wanted love from my mom. My mom acted like she didn’t care about my needs. So I kept bugging her through out dinner. She got mad at me and told my brother to pin me down. I got so mad that I slaped my brother. I regret slaping my brother. It only made him madder. After, The Big Ordeal my arm hurt. After that I hugged my mom and went to bed.
—Oliver, 4th grade

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