|Tired after a long dress rehearsal|
There are months of rehearsals preparing to perform for the public. Along the way, some kids want to quit because they are frustrated or tired, feel uncoordinated, or even because their family won't be coming to see them perform. We talk them into toughing it out a little longer. Rehearsals can create a lot of stress, triggering some problems with their illnesses. It's definitely a challenge to do a production where every member of the cast has some sort of serious problem - ADHD, major depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, schizophrenia, Asperger's, Tourette's, etc.
Where do I fit into this? I'm one of those people in the background that takes care of things so things go smoothly. I used to handle all the ticket sales. Fortunately, we have more help with that now. Coordinating the rehearsal schedule keeps me busy, especially with all the other activities on our campus. I've spent time assisting the play's director during rehearsals and I am backstage during performances to help with costume changes, props, and emergencies. A few years ago, I became responsible for putting the playbill and the poster together.
I have watched so many miracles happen on our stage. Performing arts provides amazing opportunities - the chance to step outside of your own life, getting to be someone else, learning to work as a team and trust the people around you. I have seen kids with schizophrenia learn to ignore the voices in their head so they can perform. Kids with Tourette's have learned to work their tics into their parts and the other students will even surround them so the audience doesn't notice. Some have taken courage from their characters and learned to overcome paralyzing anxiety or even traumatic memories of being assaulted. I get to hug them when they're nervous or scared and have cried with them when they feel lonely or uncared for. They tell us how doing the play changed or even saved their lives.
|West Side Story|
If you're in the Utah County area, I hope you can be in our audience. I'm still looking for sponsors and advertisers for the playbill as well. Your ad would reach 1,500 to 2,000 people and would be used beyond just the production dates (we use them as marketing pieces). Check out the Facebook page for this event or Heritage's blog post for more info about getting tickets to the show or purchasing an advertisement in the playbill.