There is something about seeing theater that lifts the spirits, whether the show is a comedy, tragedy or something in between.
This past weekend was a treat for many reasons. For starters, I got to see four shows through the course of the weekend. But greater than the quantity was being able to take a group of students to see Shakespeare--and for them to enjoy it--and then to see such a large group participate in a local children's production.
It is energizing to see young people enjoying theater, to see them getting turned on and excited about it. I strongly believe that our job is just to get young people to the theater. Once they're there, the art will work its magic on them.
On Saturday, we took a group of Waverly High School students to the Michigan Shakespeare Festival. We saw "Twelfth Night" and "King John", attended the talk back and bard talk and played theater games in between the two shows. After the final show, some of the actors came out to the lobby and talked to our students. They offered comments that were insightful and articulate. Our students left turned on to theater, excited, energized. It was a perfect day.
On Sunday, we saw "Charlotte's Web" at Riverwalk. It was an enormous cast and it was thrilling to see so many young people doing theater--getting an experience that they'd always remember. For us it was especially rewarding to see our friend's daughters Bella and Josie Croff as the goose and Avery, respectfully. We also loved seeing Waverly students in several important roles including John Henrikson as Wilbur, Sarah Kennedy as one of the narrators and Xavier Carroll as Unk the Pig.
If young people continue to get involved in positive experiences in theater, we have a promising future for the art.