Finally, I took a small breath of relief as I left St. Joseph’s Villa this past week. At last, it seemed as if a (relatively) fully-casted show is going to be possible in the future. Thankfully, our main roles are being held down by students with intense enthusiasm for their roles. This week, Kristina asked for a copy of one of the scripts so that she could take it home and practice, and this request was repeated by a few more students. At this point, it is not only a base interest in the material that I am excited about, but there is actually some growing personal investment in these students.
In my opinion, a large part of this growing interest lies in our commitment to helping the students understand the content of the play. It would be easy for us, and not so easy for the students, to hand them a packet, have them stand at the end of the stage, and read a series of words from which they can draw little to no meaning. Now, it seems as though the students are beginning to understand how their characters, and more specifically, their lines, contribute to the arc of the play and the kind of “morale of the story.”
It seems as if our students have reverted from previously wishing for a roaring 20’s approach to our costume and have become growingly interested in the garb of the actual time. Again, I think this is the product of a growing interest in the play itself, and the students are beginning to feel less and less of a need to PRODUCE something entertaining during this process. Rather, they are becoming entertained by the genuine content of the play.
In writing this, I fear that I am only speaking on account of a few students. Some students are certainly farther along than others and in my opinion, these last few weeks ought to be focused on some of the students out on the fringe. We have clearly piqued the interest of a few young men and women whom we have let run free with their enthusiasm. In the meantime, I’m worried we may have neglected quieter voices. For this reason, I hope that we create not only a sense of enthusiasm going into next week’s performance, but also a sense of teamwork and harmony.