It all started when...
There was a budget crisis. (Isn't there always?) I was eighteen, just graduated from high school. My mother, Mrs. B, was a special education teacher at the middle school, where they had just cut the after-school drama program. (Sigh..) Well, Mrs. B couldn't stand for that. She decided to put on her own show, gratis. And because she couldn't pay, she asked her teenage theatre geek daughter to direct. I'd like to say that I knew what I was getting into...understood the responsibility, the significance of what I was about to do.. but you know teenagers. I said yes, in a heartbeat.
More than a decade later, we have worked with hundreds of children, produced and directed dozens of shows. Many of them, my own scripts (because who of us hasn't put down a script and thought, "I could do better than that..." Well, I did.) And in my years with the theatre, I came across a problem. There was just never enough parts.
The audition process became impossible. These were children after all, nervous children, who may have never auditioned before. We never got to see all that those kids could do, never got to spend the time necessary to pull their best out of them. (How could we? There were a hundred more lined up to audition just outside the door.) So, finally, I decided to write a show that gave every kid a part.
Now, like I said in my mission statement, I know that this idea is a bit controversial. (Don't ask me why but people get really mad when you try to be inclusive. Even with children.) But deep down, I knew that the only way to get to know every young actor was to put them up on the stage, and make them act. (Crazy, I know.)
I tease, but it just might be a little bit crazy. A dozen kids or more in one show is intimidating, downright terrifying for some, let alone fifty. But, it's worth it.
I'd do it all again. In a heartbeat.