Me with one of the very important Oompa Loompas, before the last show yesterday.
For the past few months, I’ve been working as stage manager for a children’s theater production of Willy Wonka, Jr. The last show of fourteen performances, was completed last night to a standing ovation. It’s always difficult to say goodbye to a show. It’s been a part of your life for a good portion of time. You’ve made some amazing friendships. You learn what teamwork is all about. You discover talents that you never knew existed.
Live theater is so exciting, because you’re never sure what will happen. Things can change in an instant. This isn’t just true for children. I remember a time when I was performing in a melodrama and the girl who played my daughter, lost her skirt. It simply fell off, right on stage. I told her to pull herself together and we went on with the show.
In the many productions I’ve directed over the years, I’ve had children lose their voices, become sick onstage, have stage fright and completely blank out, pee while singing a solo, and numerous other interesting situations. When the unexpected happens, we often panic, but sometimes it’s just better to go with the flow.
I had been on a hiatus of about a year – in retirement, so to speak. However, after a year of no interaction with children, I went into a sort of withdrawal. When your life is saturated with teaching, it becomes a part of who you are – your identity in a way.
It’s amazing how God intricately weaves the tapestries of our lives. Out of nowhere, I heard about a little children’s theater company very close to my home. At about the same time, my husband found an art center, within walking distance. Neither one of us is ready for total retirement. We are aging, but we can still think, pass on our years of experience and do what we love doing for the rest of our lives.
I thank God for leading me in this direction once more. I’ve found a new home at Northern Starz Children’s Theatre and I’m raring to get onto the next project. Now, however, I’m going to take a long nap before Christmas arrives.