There was a great wave of disappointment when I received the email saying that the show Friday had been cancelled. Bright and early I had printed fresh copies of scripts, gone through and highlighted each scholar’s lines. As Dr. Bezio said, “the curse of Macbeth strikes again”. All I could think about that afternoon was how upset our scholars must have been. Although many of them had shown disinterest in attending, there were a multitude of scholars that were looking forward to being on stage. They had practiced at home and really gave it their all during rehearsal.

I remember the first week of rehearsal, and the looks Jessie, Bridget and I exchanged. There were approximately 30 fifth grade students staring back at us and they were loud, wild and distracted. I was completely apprehensive of the weeks to come. Those weeks were definitely not easy. With each week that went by, we were able to control the scholars more and keep them engaged. There came a long stretch of time without rehearsal, and our anxiety of putting the show together came on strong. We had yet to cast roles and read through the script. Two weeks before the show, the scholars finally had scripts in their hands. I was completely impressed by their reading skills (especially of Shakespeare) and the determination they held. They supported and encouraged each other. Although they did not fully act their lines, they put emotion into what they were saying.

Although they did not perform, the scholars made Bridget, Jessie and I very proud. The last run through we had at rehearsal was great and I know that the performance would have been just as good, if not better. I’m thankful for the relationship we built with our scholars. Last semester for my justice class, I volunteered at Henderson-Higher Achievement. This semester, I was able to work with familiar faces which made the experience better than I could’ve imagined. I plan on continuing to volunteer at Henderson, if my schedule allows, to maintain these bonds. Come the spring, I hope my group can work with Higher Achievement to put on Macbeth. I would love to see them perform, especially after the challenges faced and all the hard work put in. This was definitely an experience to remember.

As should be apparent from the previous posts, our show was canceled. The first snow of the season always sends Virginia into a fit of panic. This snow was somewhat serious for what we usually receive, and I praise the school system for its caution in preserving the safety of the students. Even so, I was disappointed to hear that our performance had been canceled. I responded by ignoring it. I have not looked at this project for the last five days, only choosing now to reengage with it.

I have no idea what our performance would have been like. Unlike other groups, we were unable to review permission slips to see who would have attended. If anything, the last practice before the canceled performance left us in a situation where our most reliable actors would probably be missing. In all likelihood, our performance would have been a disappointment and a disaster, with me, Jimmy, Luke, Grant, Professor Bezio, and Timone on stage, filling in for those who were absent. Even so, a good number of students at St. Joseph’s put in a great deal of effort. Spurred on by Timone, we saw actual improvement over the course of the semester. Deandre, who was to play MacBeth, performed admirably well at the final practice. He would have likely been absent, but he engaged in the practice and in our project.

My biggest regret is that last practice before the canceled performance. Due to the amount we needed to improve and the limited time we had, we moved from one thing to another with little time for pleasantries. We were unable to stay an extra thirty minutes. When leaving, I did not take the time to tell the students how much I appreciated what they had done over the course of the semester. In my sheltered college lifestyle, I had not checked the weather or even recognized the chance for the play to be canceled.

Maybe, if all hope of a Spring performance falls through, I will have to visit the Villa again.