Friday, April 12, 2024

Dolly Levi and Horace Vandergelder!


It’s Monday morning, and I am sitting in the empty auditorium at the T. Furth Center for the Performing Arts. Or, should I say, my home away from home. So many thoughts occupy my mind right now and by the time you read this on Tuesday morning lots of events will have happened. Was the eclipse perfect? (I think it will be with this gorgeous weather!) Will Purdue win the championship tonight? Will another rehearsal for tech week be as scattered as last night? I hope not!

This eclipse has definitely taken over our lives. I love that we are so excited about this event, and for me, probably the last one I shall see. I have memories of watching the eclipse in school. Of course, school was not canceled nor was there all this hype! (Hello, social media!) We made our little boxes with the pinholes so we could watch during the school hours. The teachers were constantly saying, don’t look at the sun, don’t look at the sun. I still don’t know how those boxes worked, but indeed they did! A few years ago, I watched the eclipse at Pokagon with a group of folks. This year I am heading out to the new property of Aaron and Rachel. Yes, they bought a little farmette or something like that. They have been looking for land with a pond, and they found it. Last night was their first night in their new house. I sent a note wishing them a lovely, romantic evening! Rachel wrote back, laughingly, that it won’t be that romantic since both boys were there too. Jonah came home to spend the first night with the family. I love that they have found a dream, even though Cindy (Rachel’s mom) and I will miss them living just a few blocks away. They are now eleven minutes away.

Basketball has taken over this state as well. I think it all started with the Trine championship and we just keep moving forward. Now I am not a Purdue graduate, but I am a Hoosier through and through, so go Purdue. By the time you read this, we will have the answer to that also!

Now, back to the show. I always write a column in the quiet of the theatre. The lights are on, but no one is here by the stage except me. As I look around, I am a bit overwhelmed at the work still to do…more props brought in, more sets to work on, more costumes to complete. Yet, as I sit here, it is perfect, absolutely perfect.

Directing theatre at Trine has been a dream come true for me. I love the students. I love my job. This semester I have a new assistant director, Lydia Roop. Lydia is a senior at Trine and is definitely not new to the theatre, just to directing. She has not been able to participate in any of my shows, but before the semester started, she said she might audition. As I was looking for a new assistant, I approached her and within 24 hours, I had a new assistant by my side. She was a bit timid at first, but after a couple of weeks, she found her own voice and has been a tremendous help to me. I have a new stage manager this semester too so there has been a lot of changing of the guards!

What is the magic that is on this stage? As I sit here, I am thinking about the other three shows I have directed. All have been different, and all have showcased these marvelous Trine students. The stage echoes with their footsteps, their voices, their laughter. Sometimes in rehearsal, we all laugh so hard and long that I think we won’t get back to work, but we do. Theatre, like band or orchestra or any of the arts, brings young people together. I love watching the friendships take place within the theatre. The star of “The Matchmaker” is a young lady who transferred from Marquette University to Trine. When she arrived here, she didn’t know anyone and was not involved in anything. She decided it might be fun to audition for the show and to see what would happen! I will tell you what happened, she got the lead role. Wait til you see her!

Today the eclipse will be a memory, Purdue will have won or lost, and our show will go on this weekend. See you there!

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