Four Crazy Nights

Miss Hannigan sings "Little Girls"Four crazy nights. At least that’s what I’ll be saying tomorrow night at this time.

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday nights helping out with the tech at “shoestring theatre,” also known as the Palmyra Players. I’m working the projected backdrops, but I’m also working with another volunteer who is a sound guy by trade. He’s doing miracles with the hacked-together sound-system, it’s pretty amazing. The other parents working on programs, stage and set design, prepping the concessions, selling ads, and bringing snacks are also all amazing.

I’m also helping out in small ways making sure the stage-crew shouldn’t be talking at full volume with the curtain closed, and helping the talent remember to bring their mics back to the sound table. The rehearsals have been long, but reminded me about everything I love about theatre. It’s exhausting, but a lot of fun. This is only the second year for Palmyra Players in something like forever, and the talent-level of these students is superb. A district as tiny as ours has no business having this number of students who not only want to be involved in theatre, but who are actually good at it – including, I might add, a significant number of guys who knock a rendition of “Officer Krupkee” out of the park. It’s pretty remarkable. I’m very thankful to our Principal, Mr. Martin, for making the Players such a priority. The goal for next year is for the Players to actually have a line item in the district budget. Progress!

Tonight I was back in the high school auditorium to attend the first of a series of community meetings aimed at forming a strategic plan for the district. I’m always skeptical of meetings like this, but the district always manages to get a good turn-out for things like this and I felt compelled to go. It was pretty standard business faire, but sometimes bringing in an outside voice to provoke conversation is a good thing [^someone]. No one used the screen correctly 1, and the incongruity of having people present lists on tiny flip boards while they stand in front of a giant projection screen makes me nuts, but I was impressed with much of our break-out conversation 2. We discussed the top assets/achievements and top challenges facing the district. We had the typical rambling sessions that happen in any small group 3, but it was a constructive time.

Each group then had to have someone present their findings 4. I was very pleased with the observations people had, which is unusual for a meeting like this. I even felt comfortable enough that I ended up presenting my group’s findings, which I thought went well 5. It was a good beginning, but a lengthy one.

Tomorrow is the play. There’s a 9:30 call for a morning walk-through, then an abbreviated matinee for the elementary school students. A brief break after school, and a 5:30 call for the evening performance at 7.

Four crazy nights. Community involvement is amazing, but it’s also exhausting.


  1. It was all “death by PowerPoint” stuff, which drives me crazy. 
  2. I hate these things as a rule, but it turned out ok. It helped that I knew about 2/3 of my group from various places in the district. 
  3. I include myself among the ramblers. 
  4. Yes, it was one of those meetings. 
  5. As I had taken scans of our lists, I almost plugged my iPad into the projection system so I could display them in a format which might actually have been useful. I ended up thinking that might be a bit too “in your face.” 
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