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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Looking back, thanks & updates

Congratulations again to all actors, crew and family on The Gift of the Rebel Elf.  We survived, and the children thrived!  In our observations, the show got tighter and the performances stronger each time, until the last show -- not a hitch!   We didn't plan for 3 shows in 30 hours (with cast members as young as 4), but the weather made plans of its own, and miraculously, every single child made it for all 3 shows and gave it his/her all!!   Even our littlest performers, the Pre-K/Kindergartners (purely voluntary), gave an amazing turnout, with the majority performing in all 3 shows.

December 5th marked the one-year anniversary of our first Drama Club after-school meeting.  Within this year, the students and community of Cornish have created not one, but two musicals, open to all children who wanted to be on or work back stage.   Including last year's graduates, nearly 90 Cornish children have participated in some capacity.  In this short time, we've watched kids who wouldn't come out from behind the curtain last year step into singing and dancing roles this year; kids who wanted only extra parts take leads; kids who didn't speak at the beginning start talking with confidence in front of the group (and loving the spot light!); kids who watched from the bleachers last year get on stage this year, and others step into complicated technical roles.  

It was a feat for all to be proud of -- but especially for the families, who performed Olympic medal-worthy acts of schedule-juggling to make it happen.  Thank you.

And an extra special thanks to Amanda Posner for coming back and giving even more this year than last, despite Clara's having graduated.  Amanda devotes such loving attention to the details of each child's costume, wanting so much for them to be comfortable and enjoy their transformations on stage.  Her creative talents know no end, and she may be the first person I've ever met who can go two months without sleep.  And to Clara, who brought her enthusiasm for drama back as a volunteer helper/mentor throughout the fall and during the shows.  Her help and example were so important.

A few quick updates...

*  If you would like to purchase an elf hat, booties, and/or shorts/poodle skirt, they are still available as a fundraiser for future activities.  (There will be extras, so even if your child had a different role, there will likely be elf elements available).  

*  For those of you who ordered t-shirts, they should arrive by the end of this week.  I will contact you for delivery.  They are $16 each (check made out to CCPTO, memo: Drama/t-shirt).

*  If your child asks (or inquiring minds want to know), this was the show for the 2014-15 school year.  (Sigh of relief? :-)  Amanda and I will enjoy a slow exploration of possibilities for the 2015-16 school year.  We welcome volunteers to join us in this mad (and very rewarding) endeavor!  Let us know if you'd like to help out next year.

*  Though we are tied up with other projects the remainder of this year, we would like to continue to offer an after-school Drama Club periodically for the remainder of this year.  We plan to hold the first meeting Jan. 13, Monday from 2:45-4:00p.  It will be open to Upper Wing + 4th graders, and it will be casual -- kids are welcome to come when they can.  We will start by gathering their feedback on Rebel Elf and collect their ideas about activities they'd like to do with the Club this winter/spring (possibilities include: field trips to plays, inviting visitors from local theaters, film, scene study, stand-up comedy, etc.)  We will keep you posted on the schedule for Drama Club meetings as it evolves. 

*  A cast's family member asked for the text of Samantha's remarks to the cast and crew at the end of the last show. Here they are again (As you may have noted, they are derived from our soundtrack):

Boy can you Rock it, you can roll it, do the stomp and even stroll it.  You make all my cares drift right into space...And you can play a guitar, and drums, and tamborine, and keyboard,  just like a ringing a bell.  You sure Got your motor running, looking for adventure, You truly are like a true Nature’s child, born to be wild.  We know you ain’t gonna do us wrong, and you deserve a heap of R-E-S-P-E-C-T for what you did tonight.  Yesterday, you weren’t half the men and women you are today.  And you definitely hold the key to love and fear in your hand, and Got Together and Loved one another.  We lent you our ears, and you sang us some songs, and you did not sing out of key.  When we were down and troubled, you called our names and you were there.  And you made us believe in the magic of young girls’ and boy’s souls.  You helped out, you were kind, you tried hard, and you showed us that All We Need Is… Love, Love Love....

Very happy holidays to all.

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