Monday, November 08, 2004

Thought du Jour: Our Town

A quote for the day:
"Now, there are some things we all know but we don't take'm out and look at'm very often. We all know that something is eternal. And it ain't houses and it ain't names, and it ain't earth, and it ain't even the stars- everybody knows in their bones that something is eternal, and that something has to do with human beings. All the greatest people that ever lived have been telling us that for five thousand years and yet you'd be surprised how people are always letting go of that fact."
-Thornton Wilder, Our Town

Wow, so much has happened since my last post. Granite State Challenge ended and the play ("Our Town" by Thornton Wilder) really kicked into high gear. The final production was on Saturday. It was sooo awesome.
Backing up, before the play of course came tech week. The most high-stress time for me, as stage manager. But although I get stressed out- as my friends can attest to, I become a basket case- I enjoy the time that I get to spend there. You form some pretty close bonds under such circumstances. Sometimes I walk into a production not really knowing anybody, and I walk out with some of the best friends I could have. Things like that bring people together. Kinda hard to explain why. When you're working together in close, stress-filled quarters, you'll either make enemies or friends. Some make both. I almost always come out with friends-something I'm glad of. As I said, all tech week I'm a stressed-out basket case, but when opening night comes around- well, my peers on the stage crew said that the change was astounding. Fact is, opening night relaxes me. I'm rarely nervous- somehow I just know everything will turn out great. And any problems that occur, well, we'll fix 'em the next night. I just sit back and do what has to be done. That varies from play to "Our Town" it meant following along with the script, doing sound cues and some light cues, making sure the actors come on at the right time, and coordinating and helping with a few scene changes. I loved doing it.

Being a stage manager is a hard, sometimes thankless job. So what makes being a stage manager worth it? Lots of things. The friends I make in the actors and the crew. Being a part of the artistry of live theater. Hearing the occasional thanks from the actors, director(s), crew- just one person saying thanks makes it all worth it. Getting a front-row seat for the production. Getting to use a cool headset walkie-talkie. :-) Too many joys to count.

"Our Town" was a play that I enjoyed working on for many reasons. The play itself had emotional depth, and it really hits home when it is done well. The people were the absolute best. Directors, producers, actors, crew...guys and girls alike, they were wonderful. I was glad to be able to work with them.

After closing night, most of us went out to Uno's for a party. Soo much was midnight and we were drinking sodas, eating pizza and mozzerella sticks and nachos..some people ate pure sugar from the packets that were sitting on the table! We got a massive game of Telephone going (all the way around the five tables) and just kicked back and relaxed. I talked to Dan, Jacqueline, Betsy, and Ryan mostly...discussed movies, the spring musical, books, Betsy and Ryan's trip to Chicago...great times. Then Kevin drove Betsy and I back home and we were talking so much that he missed the exit and had to go the long way around...can't say I minded, it was fun to spend the extra time together discussing subjects too numerous and weird to mention.

Anyway, a few of my thanks go out to:
KEVIN, for the last-minute drives home, the backstage conversations, always saying thanks, being disciplined about your lines and keeping us all disciplined...
EMILY, for being a great friend, being very supportive, cluing me in on what I need to be clued in on, for always striving to be better, for always saying thanks...
ELISA, for always being there for a smile, for playing your three roles with such candor, and for always saying thanks...
EMMA, for being a kind, patient student director. Few people have the gift of being able to make people work together, and you're the most gifted person in that direction that I have ever met...
BETSY AND RACHEL, for always being willing to help me out and keeping me not too stressed...
DANIEL, SAMUEL, AND JACQUELINE, for the pre-practice movie discussions and political analyses...

There are so many other people that I could thank, but I'd better sign off...lotta work to do.
All best wishes.

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