Monday, March 06, 2006

NYC, Here We Come!

Well, the Big Week is here! In six days we have one run-through, two dress rehearsals, two school-day performances and three public performances of the musical Annie (Jr.)--with two more performances next weekend. Those close to me are no doubt surprised that I've hardly mentioned children's musical theatre yet (other than this infamous post and a mention here that I do most of my blogging while waiting on my kids during rehearsals). Since the program opened in our area last January, we've been involved in four shows! It's a big commitment, but there are a number of reasons why we feel it has been worth it.

In the first place, it has given my children so much confidence in front of a group. Only Blondechick 13 (then 12) had the nerve to audition for the first show, but when Bantam-then-9 saw how much fun she was having, he couldn't wait to be in the next show...except for the dreaded audition. In an act of sheer courage and will, he pulled it off and got a part. For the next show, he auditioned like a pro. "Mom," he confided at one point, "I figured out that at [theater], it's not cool to be shy!"

Another reason we're willing to commit to this program is that it is truly a family affair. For the last two shows, we've had two kids onstage performing, one backstage shifting scenery, and one in "the house" ushering. Papa Rooster has helped with publicity and marketing, ushering and striking the set; I've solicited program ads and raffle donations and chaired the Makeup committee. Last spring, when Bitty Bantam played Baby Sleeping Beauty in the christening scene, we had 7 out of 8 family members involved in that show! Outside of church--or even including church--there aren't many activities such a wide range of ages can enjoy.

I really like theater as a means of channeling my teens' and preteens' social energies, too. They get lots of fun "hang out" time with their friends, but there's supervision and purpose for their time together, unlike at the movie theater or the mall. Plus, we parents are invited--nay, expected--to be involved, unlike at church youth group, for example. Though I'm not really into hair and makeup myself, I love the Makeup committee because I enjoy working so closely (pun intended) with the kids and getting to know my kids' friends that way. At the Cast Party, the Strike Party and at any impromptu gathering, whole families are welcomed and expected.

Finally, it is F-U-N. We work really hard all week on academics and music, and theater is a total change of pace for the kids and for me! I am so thankful for my husband, who stays home with the younger kids, and for my in-laws, who will be helping out this week too.

We finally got our desktop back and figured out where, in the back-up process, everything got stored. That soon! And that may be all I have time for this week!


HolyMama! said...

Break a leg, Bantams!

RANDI said...

That sounds wonderful, truly a family affair! Enjoy!

Rachelle said...

I love theater! This sounds like so much fun!

Kathryn Judson said...

When I was growing up, some folks in our town produced a community musical every winter, and made a point of picking shows that kids could be in. Being Mormon themselves, they picked pretty clean stuff (and tidied up where they felt they should in what they did pick). My folks didn't participate at all, but they let me participate, and I got to do the whole gamut, from act to help backstage to be in the orchestra to act as stage manager. We had a lot of fun, we learned a lot, we kept out of trouble, and I'm forever in their debt for making those experiences available for me. How good to know there are still kids getting that same sort of chance to grow and shine.