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Apres moi...

Journalist. Malcontent. Cutie-pie. Worry-wart.

Oklahoma! It begins...

At my first rehearsal for Oklahoma! at Shelby High School, drama director Kathie Burgin welcomed me into the fold and then promptly put a piece of paper in my hand outlining just what was expected of me as a cast member.

I cannot, the paper said, use being in the play as an excuse to get out of the house. Well, that won’t be a problem. Mind you, it said nothing about using it as an excuse to get out of the office.
I also have to keep good grades. Easy enough, as I am not graded. Judged on a daily basis, yes. Graded, no.

At the top of the list of rules, in bold: no egos or temper tantrums.
I’ll keep that in mind. So far, smooth sailing.

To be honest, I was concerned about how I would be welcomed by the cast and crew.

It’s easy, I think, for people of a certain age to underestimate teenagers. Once you’ve worked in the ‘real world’ for a few years, it’s hard to feel sympathy for the troubles and stresses of high schoolers. But take a look at the cast and crew assembled in Malcolm Brown Auditorium and you don’t quite fear for the future as much.
They’re nice, funny, and conscientious — no one tried to stab me, no one egged my car, no one was strung out on drugs.
As my grandmother would say, they’re kids with their heads on straight.

As I type all that, I realize it kind of makes me sounds like I too used to have to walk to school up hill both ways…in the snow. A quick bit of math and I find that I’m around 10 years older than any freshmen cast or crew members. When younger students from elementary and the intermediate schools show up, I’ll be practically ancient to them. Remember how old everyone seemed when you were 11?

There’s a lot to look forward to. Next week, I’ll be heading to rehearsal more often. Learning the music and blocking (where I’m supposed to be on the stage) is going to be a big deal for me. And the costumes…a room, eerily reminiscent of a sweat shop, has been set up with sewing machines, ironing boards and patterns for students to create and alter costumes.
The set has been scaled back from original plans. Burgin said in the past two years, so much construction talent that she has to teach a lot of skills from square one. But with so many people on stage for the big numbers, the set will fill out nicely, she said.

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