“Our Play is Done;” Thoughts on Henderson Act I’s Performance

“But that’s all one, our play is done” – Feste (Act V, Scene I, Line 339)

Well, we did it.

For real this time.

Even though this whole process was a never ending mix of fun and exhausting, I am really happy with how our first and final performance came together.

We got St. Joseph’s Villa early enough to figure out everything from where the props would be stored to how to simulate a shipwreck, and even though we still were not sure who was going to show up even three hours before curtain, we actually had a great turn out.

Of our original consistent cast of actors, only Orsino was not able to come, so we, like the rest of the acts, casted Jacob as our fill in.

We were all set to have one of the three of us play Viola as well, but then one of our troupe members, who had until that day sworn she would only be a crew member, volunteered to take the part.

Although the actual performance was a joy to watch and direct, I’d say my favorite memories of the day came from interacting with our cast right before the show started.

Seeing our youngest boy in his makeup beard is a visual I’ll treasure always and having the entire cast want to color in more of the ship was pretty sweet too.

If I had to pick a favorite though I would say it was when after warning our two boys that any sword fighting with their fake swords would lead to a swift removal of said prop pieces, I went ahead and later said “screw it” and told them they could act one out as long as they went to the back of the church.

It was really interesting seeing our often times “too cool for school” cast admit to being terrified of going on stage between acts, but they all went out there regardless, and they all seemed to have a fun time if nothing else.

If I could change one thing, it would just have been to have them act below the stairs leading up to the “stage” so that the volume could have possibly been better, but otherwise I’m satisfied with how it all went.

There were times when I was skeptical over whether we’d be over to pull this off, and there were definitely times when I wondered if they would even notice if we didn’t show up one day, but that being said, I am really happy I was able to have this experience and see so much of what we learned in class in real, live scenarios.

I know I’ll have more to say in my parts of the final paper, but I guess if I had to say anything to any future participants in the program, it would be to just take a deep breath and try to deal with whatever comes your way.

Whether it’s random additions to your cast on a weekly basis or rowdy middle schoolers, trying to pull this all off will feel like a impossible task at times, but I promise the final production is worth it.