This past Friday evening, Tim closed up shop early so that we could make the perilous 90 minutes drive through pouring rain (not an exaggeration!) to see a high school play. On purpose!
My sister's oldest daughter, Carrie is a teacher. She has taught all sorts of music and theatre in schools for what...18 years now? Something like that. (Forgive me Carrie if that number is wrong please. I'm terrible at math). This year she moved to teaching at a different school. We were both looking forward to seeing the play but also checking out her new working environment.
Oasis High School in Cape Coral Florida is a relatively new school, less than 20 years old (not even old enough to drink yet!) and it is snazzy looking. Very modern and clean and nestled snugly into a pretty residential area, it is situated perfectly. Everyone we met was very nice, supportive of the kids and enthusiastic about Carrie and what she has brought to the school. And what she brought it as stellar music program! This was the school's first musical performance! Wow!
The kids were great. They were excited, they were engaged. They both acted and reacted incredibly well as their characters. They knew their lines, they clearly had practiced both the music and the choreography and the behind the scenes kiddos who changed out the stage decorations were quick and quiet. It was a great show. The audience sat rapt with attention watching the story unfold and we all sang along (quietly) to the music and maybe chair danced a little bit when the music called for it. Carrie is why this happened and why it was so darned good.
We had SUCH a good time. It's a wonderful story of course. "Emma", by Jane Austen, updated and set to music. What a great adaptation! The story still holds. There are some themes that are eternal. "Emma" is one of them. Kids are kids are kids no matter what the calendar year. It was a Fabulous choice for a maiden voyage.
The one thing that surprised Tim and I was that there was no stage. No auditorium. Why on earth would anyone build a school without an auditorium? Where do they hold assemblies? Or have awards presentations? Or performances (such as this one)? We were more than a little agog.
Nevertheless, they made do. And rather well. One does what one must! They created a make-shift stage on the basketball court. The audience sat in the bleachers - which, if nothing else, meant that everyone had a great view! The kids projected their voices very well considering that there was no sound system, we still heard most of what they said. Enough to get the jist of the story and they sang nice and loud so all of the musical numbers were great! I did worry a tiny bit whenever they had dance numbers that someone was going to tumble off the edge of the platform, but nobody did. Whew!
After the performance, the applause rang out loud and long. The kids were tickled with themselves, as well they should be, the families and friends were wild with delight and Carrie beamed with pride at the result of everyone's hard work. I need to mention here that as proud as Tim and I were of Carrie nobody was more taken with her than her fella, Russ. He was right there, pitching in wherever he was needed and bragging about her to everyone in earshot. I love how much he loves her.
Anyway, we are hopeful that the obvious success of this first performance, will move the school, the community or whoever makes those sorts of things happen, help to make whatever modifications necessary so that future performances have better sounds systems and maybe even a real stage. That is the only thing that could have made it better.
Nice job everyone! Can't wait for the next one :) Be sure to invite us!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.