Multiple times this week, I got to hear some of our community’s young people singing together in rehearsal as we continue to rehearse for the December show at the Hawkeye Community Theater – “The Nutty Nutcracker”. The kids in the cast range in age from Kindergarten through high school. Academically, they could never be in the same class. Athletically, it wouldn’t be safe to put the little ones on the same team as the older kids. Instrumental music? As much as I love it – and as much joy as playing instruments has brought to my own life! – the wide difference in skill level would prevent all of them being in the same ensemble. Choir? Now we’re getting closer. But let’s be honest – the music that would be a challenge for the littlest in the cast would be boringly simple for the older kids. To keep all age groups challenged, we once again would need to separate them.
But the world of theater? Ah! Now THERE is a jewel. With multiple characters that require different levels of acting skill, different vocal music abilities, and different amounts of time spent on stage . . . the most novice actor can share the memories of a show with a veteran of the stage.
I’ve also begun listening to the soundtrack for the show that I will be privileged to direct at Fort Dodge Senior High this coming Spring. It will be my tenth at FDSH and I’m just as excited about this title as I have been about the other nine! But don’t ask what it is because we aren’t quite ready to reveal it just yet. (Contracts to be signed and such!) And no, I WON’T give you a hint!
I had an unexpected day off work today – an all-school field trip took all the kids off campus! – so I spent the time reading, running errands and listening to the music that I will be writing staging and choreography for very soon. Every so often a snippet of inspiration would hit . . . an idea for a set piece or clever scene change; a dance move that absolutely MUST be included in a particular song; a fun transition to move actors to different spots on the stage mid-song . . . you get the idea! I simply listened to a musical soundtrack all day and got to call it “work”!
Working with young performers from varied levels of experience and watching them grow in their art or getting to listen to a gorgeous score and honestly tell my hubby “I worked for a good chunk of my day off” . . . I really do have the best job!