Opening Weekend

Good day one and all!

Well, opening weekend has finally arrived. After four long months of rehearsals, costume fittings, set construction and laughs, our cast of 83 individuals is ready to entertain and wow an audience. Last night we opened and it went great!

I love opening night; I love how everything comes together and everyone is so excited to perform for an audience. After our car was unloaded and the costumes were divided between my husband and I, I just sort of sat back and watched as people trickled in from thier day; costumes slung over their backs as their anxiously talked to newly acquired friends about their anticipation for the evening. I like watching the kids. Most are a bundle of high, nervous energy and you can tell that they need to exert it soon or they’ll pop. I also like to watch the men’s eyes water as their wives, or a very brave woman cast member, try to apply mascara and eye liner to them. (Ah, remind me again which sex they call the strongest?)

There are many highs for me during opening night. I was always a sucker for a pep talk. I remember before soccer games listening to our coach’s would tell us that we’ve worked harder than the other team, overcame more difficult obstacles than them and how we deserve the win - it would get my blood pumping. My theatre experience isn’t much different, other than we want the audience to like us, not defeat us. Nonetheless, the director always comes in after the cast warmed up and he always has a way to get us excited. Usually it includes telling us how many people are in the audience which always gets an applause. Which brings me to my next favorite thing about opening night.

For four months we’ve heard and overheard the dialogue and music and we’ve seen the comedy tricks so many times that they really aren’t funny any more to us. These couple of hundred people that have come to watch us, are seeing it for the first time. So when someone hits their comedic timing perfectly and audience erupts in laughter or applause it’s cosmic. I wrote about it in an earlier post; I wish I could just bottle that applause and laughter up and keep it for a rainy day or two.

Of course I must also say that my favorite part of the evening is when its over. That’s not to say that I am sick of the production and I just want to go home. That’s not it at all; what I am saying is that when the long night is over and the audience is on their way home recounting the evenings many high points, I feel a sense of accomplishment. By no means is this my job, we are all mostly volunteers, but in a way we all agreed to come here and perform a duty, to entertain a crowd and steal them away from the lows of everyday life. When a performance is over and I know that the cast did everything in our power to do that for our audience I can’t help but feel accomplished; like we helped, we succeed in our goal. It’s a simple goal to some, to get up on stage and sing a song, but I feel what we do is more than that. It’s not just entertainment, but an experience, a memory.

I hope that you can join us either this weekend or next for that experience. We’d love to have you a part of our collective memory!

See you at the show!