At the beginning of February of this year, we undertook the task of creating theatre with young people. The auditions produced sweet faces, high energy and excitement. You could feel it in the air. These delightful little Thespians pushed forward, learning lines and blocking along with developing characters and learning music and choreography. Quite an undertaking for children K-5. Yet many of these children have never experienced the excitement of being on stage – or the response of an audience – the magic that occurs when the lights come up on opening night and all their efforts are brought to fruition.
Tomorrow they will have that opportunity. Adrenaline will pump through their little veins. Butterflies will fill their tummies and their hearts will flutter. Some refer to it as the smell of the greasepaint and the roar of the crowd. In actuality, they’re getting first hand experience with some amazing life lessons. They will see the benefit of working hard towards a common goal. They will learn how team work can accomplish so much more than just one person trying to do it all. They’ve learned to cooperate, work hard, make a commitment and follow through. They’ve also gained self-confidence and learned skills that will help them communicate through life.
I have a special place my heart for little ones. I know the joy I found being a theatre kid. Some of my fondest memories occurred on stage in front of a crowd. My insecurities melted when I could take on another persona for a little while. We want our children to succeed. They need to be encouraged to step outside of the box and take chances that will cause them to grow. Yet they still need to know that we stand behind them and with them.
So tomorrow, as the lights come up and the first notes are sung, something wonderful will happen – a kind of magic energy that explodes when they experience an audience. May this be the start of something amazing for them. BREAK A LEG!