Sunday, April 02, 2006

We Dance!

And another show done!

Yes, after a crazy week (year?), our production of “Once on This Island” was a smashing success. Here’s the rundown:

Monday – During classes I worked with my techies to hang the curtains from the catwalks above our cyc. The curtains are courtesy my parents/IKEA, and did a wonderfully job covering the ugly design of that part of the stage. After school - double dress rehearsal. We ran the show twice through, then dismissed the cast to go get some sleep. Most of them at this point were sick, so the sleep was critical, particularly given the early morning to come. Once the cast was gone, I stayed with a few of the faithful students to finish painting the set. We wrapped up at about 9:30pm, after Kim pried a paintbrush from my hands and refused to let me touch up the mural any more. She’s a great stage manager.

Tuesday – Remarkably, I woke up on time (4:30am). I arrived at school at about 5:30 am, and the students likewise came early. We had a terrific time with the Fox news people, who featured us on their morning show between 6:00am and 8:30am. Then followed a morning performance for elementary school kids, photo call, a break for lunch, and an afternoon elementary school show. The casts did quite well with those performances, and the kids seemed to love it. After school, we gave some notes to the casts, then Janelle insisted I go home. Home! By 5:00pm! It felt… weird.

Wednesday – Assembly for our school in the morning. It was just a teaser – so I stopped the show about 15 minutes from the ending, at a cliff-hanger moment:

Ti Moune dances for Andrea and Daniel
Andrea: (to Daniel) Well, it’s very clear/she’s in love with you./Daniel, if you care,/if you care at all,/you must tell her-
Ti Moune: What is it?
Me: (walking out on stage as the actors freeze in place) If you want to know, come see the play tonight, tomorrow ni-
Audience: BOO!

They booed me! It was outstanding. Other teachers told me they heard conversations all day debating what Andrea’s news was. Excellent.

That evening was officially opening night. 350 people, $1500 net profit, and a decent performance. I was happy. I also fell asleep literally in the middle of eating dinner.

Thursday: Last performance for Cast A. The entire cast did marvelous! They even earned a partial standing ovation. I was thrilled with them, and they were ecstatic. 500+ people, $2245.

Friday: Final performance. So good! A great turn out, and a full standing ovation afterwards. A lot of tears and hugs and flowers and cheering and such. My family came to see the show, as did some of my friends, which was wonderful. I haven’t heard the official tallies yet, but hopefully tomorrow.

I love my kids. That’s the ultimate sentiment I felt this week.
Tomorrow: cast party, techie show, and we begin strike. Whoo!


  1. this is cool. im part of one of your favorite memories.
    This is Jimmy Black, and i just wanted to let you know that this play "Once on This Island" is still my favorite play i've been in so far. and it made my 9th grade really great for me.
    Thank you for everything you taught me as a teacher and director.

  2. Dear Waterhouse,
    I miss you so very much and hope you know that your words, way back when, at times have been the only reason to carry on in this career path but it is so fulfilling and I am so grateful for your willingness to inspire young minds and for distilling a love of theater in the hearts of those around you.