Dear Class o' Mine -
Look what you did.
You did Shakespeare. You did Macbeth! You did it with only 10 people in the class. You made it something that got the whole school talking.
You made it creepy and haunting. You made the special ed teacher spend the rest of the day explaining to her students that you were all okay and you did not need to go to the hospital.
You made everyone "Ooh" and "Aah" over the ridiculously simple staging of the death of Duncan.
You made it through the fight scenes with only a few small injuries.
Also, you broke three swords.
You kept the show going after one of you whacked his head on the stupidly-designed fusebox backstage, raising a significant lump, blurry vision, and ringing in his ears. You were ready to jump into his place on stage and take over his lines, but then you rallied behind him when he insisted on finishing the show, and you insisted on hugging him before his mom took him home.
Then, you wrote him a thank you card because he finished the show.
You wrote a thank you card for another of you who had a hellish emergency at home right before the show. You recognized that he chose you over his family, and you wrote him a card without my even knowing you did to say 'Thank you for being there for us.'
You knew that one of you had such bad stage fright that he didn't show up to the evening performance of Earnest. You forgave him, you encouraged him, and you made him understand that all he had to do to make you happy was show up. And so he did. And you celebrated him when he said all of his lines in just the right places and did just fine for all three shows.
You filled the stage with puddles of blood the last night.
You stopped caring about what you look like or what people will think and just did the costume changes as fast as you needed to and to heck with whoever was backstage with you at the time.
You insisted that I bring in extra students for the fight scenes, then you didn't insist on it being your friends but rather "good actors from the other drama class". And thus you changed the lives of a small group of freshman and one very lucky 4th grader who is so proud of the "McNugget" nickname you gave him that his parents must have had a hard time this weekend getting him to change out of the tights and tunic.
You gave your troops a pep talk in the dressing room before leading them into battle in the opening scene, telling them that they were about to "die heroically."
You had people commenting on your "professionalism," your "focus," and on how "tight" the performance was. And I think you knew how fantastic those particular comments are.
You told each other to breathe deep, to focus, to take care of each other, and to be aware of the space around yourselves. And so you quoted me to each other without knowing that I could hear you.
You argued about what the lines meant, what the words meant, what the story meant, and whose fault the murder was. You argued with ME about it and you argued with each other, and I loved you for it.
You spent the entire intermission of A Christmas Carol, which we went to on a field trip this week, discussing all of the ideas we should steal for our show.
You stayed late at rehearsal practicing the Macbeth death because you so badly wanted him to die in just the right pose so his hand landed just next to dead Lady Macbeth's hand because the symbolism of that was just so cool.
You made people cry when Macduff found out about his family.
You insisted that I come to your party after the last show. You wanted me to be there, and then you didn't need me to be there because you had each other.
You called yourselves "a family" today during check-in. And each of you made sure to give every person individual kudos when we did our post-mortem discussion.
You reinforced each other. And you made me so incredibly proud to be your teacher.
Look what you did.