Saturday night we wrapped up the final performance of CHURCH BASEMENT LADIES II: A SECOND HELPING, putting away all the props for Tim to take away, sending the costumes off with Lisa and Kate, and giving hugs and goodbyes to the crew of Sylvia, Libby and Caleb – and thanking our directors Amy and Lauren, and our stage manager Beth for wonderful leadership and creativity.  Eight shows, sold out twice, one actress with a broken shoulder for the whole run, sound problems, happy audiences –

 

We speak of connections – in this show, the cast was a 60-year-old (almost) retired band teacher (me) with no dancing skills but does it anyway…. A 59-year-old who shows on-stage comedic talent I hadn’t EVER seen (especially physical humor) (my wife Wilma) …. A transplanted Oklahoman (Janice) who breaks her shoulder the week before we open and never (almost) missed a beat … a happily married-to-a-cop mom (Kate) who brings a few of her kids along to help.. and a young lady (Dana) in her early 20s who blends in so well that we could hardly tell that this was her first ‘community theatre’ role ever, not to mention that she was a former student of mine.

 

Then the offstage folks …. A director (Amy) who is a whirling dervish with 2 other jobs and a positive attitude that is contagious in so many ways and brings her ENTIRE family (Dave, Sylvia and Libby) with her for the performances to run the lights and sound as needed, to be the running crew backstage …. A stage manager who is a transplanted Jewish lady (Beth) from Long Island, New York (originally) and organizes all of us into a performing machine … a vocal director (Lauren) who brings us together on the songs by way of her experience in theatre that covers everything from her own on-stage roles to having written her own one-woman show … and all the others that did jobs off-off stage like ticket selling, marketing, printing a program, building the set (a guy (Tim) who could make heaven out of Styrofoam if he ever needed to) …

 

And God Bless the Audience!  Work partners, friends from church, from around town, from here and there…. Farmers, teachers, medical people, retired folks, students, tax preparers, pastors, dads, mothers, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, people in wheelchairs, in suits and ties, in jeans and t-shirts, clean and unshaven, tall, short, bald, old, young…..

 

If you ever want to see a social event that encompasses all kinds of folks for the sole purpose of being together in a creative process, check out community theatre.

 

And yes, I will miss it.  As of Sunday morning, I have no play on my horizon since last August.  I am glad to have that kind of break, but this won’t be the last one by any means.

 

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And may I add… we woke up that Sunday morning to find a rainy night had sent water seeping into our basement  – and our van had decided to treat us to a flat tire.

 

Nobody ever said it was always smooth, I guess.

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