Today is opening day for James and the Giant Peach. In the morning we ran the first act for our elementary school and it went incredibly well. The little kids loved every aspect of the production. The lights, sets, costumes, dancing, and singing all got gasps and claps, laughs and cheers.
In the afternoon we performed for the middle schoolers, our students peers. They once again rose the occasion and did a great job, singing their hearts out and performing their best. The middle schoolers liked all the same things the little kids enjoyed, but they also got into the dialog. They laughed at the joke. They cheered when the bad guys lost. They gave our cast the encouragement they needed to put on three great shows this weekend.
As the evening show approached, our actors and actresses buzzed around busily getting ready with makeup and hairspray. Our “James” runs up to me extremely upset with tea on his white costume shirt! I reassure him that it will be fine, though I’m not sure how quickly tea stains, and head to the bathroom to wash it out. I use hand soap in the bathroom to wash the still damp tea out of the shirt. After at least ten minutes of hand washing the entire sleeve in the sink it seems like it is out and unseeable, but I worry about those dazzlingly bright stage lights and if they will highlight any residual tea. However, we are running out of minutes to current, so I ring out the shirt the best I can and use the (thankfully) extra powerful hot air hand dryer to dry the still completely soaked shirt so “James” can be on time for mic check. After a plethora of repeated dryer cycles the shirt is dry and I run it back to it’s actor. He throws on the shirt and runs up to the stage just in time for the mic check. We are back on track and the rest of the evening runs like a machine. The audience celebrated the opening night performance and all is well.
Today’s joy is seeing it all come together.