With the close of my twenty first and final show at Appleton North Theatre this past weekend, I’ve been reflecting on what a wonderful gift live theatre is to those who experience it, in the audience, on the stage and behind the scenes. While I certainly feel sad to end my high school theatre career, I feel even more grateful for the privilege of being a part of something as remarkable as live theatre.
The Play is the Thing
It is a privilege to care for a play,
To take home a small piece of the playwright’s soul,
Nurture it with hours of hard work,
Lose sleep while gazing at it, like a baby in a bassinet,
Plant it in the minds of audience members
And watch it flower on a wooden stage.
It is a privilege to laugh with a play,
To let it shake your shoulders and redden your cheeks,
Feel your giggle grow into a guffaw,
Lose your breath, find it, and lose it again,
Bend in half around a witty joke,
And trap it in the pit of your belly.
It is a privilege to love a play,
To hold it in your arms and kiss its cheek,
Let it draw a smile on your face,
Hold its hand for a few brief hours,
And listen to the melody of its words,
Tickle your ears and tease your brain.
It is a privilege to live with a play,
To smell the air and breathe the wind,
That carries it through the acts,
Lace up your feet in a character’s shoes,
Fall asleep with her thoughts, wake up with her dreams,
Find her eyes staring back at you in the bathroom mirror.
It is a privilege to cry over a play,
To reach for it as it walks away from you,
Leave behind a piece of your soul,
In the dog-eared, coffee stained pages of your script,
Then pass it on to the next cast, the next stage,
While a tear traces your cheek and a smile curves your lips.