Almost every step of the way, our posts at RTC are going to be about the kids. Because for everyone who’s working behind the scenes, it really is all about the students. Teaching them, guiding them, promoting them, costuming them, encouraging them, and generally doing everything we can possibly do to help them reach their full potential as members of this wonderful team of players that we’re building, and personally, as individuals, whenever they need us and we can help.
But sometimes, it’s worth taking some time to think about what’s happening behind the scenes, and I’d really like to do that right now. I’ve had a lot of kind remarks sent my way recently, thanking me for what I do, and I just want to point out that we’re an ARMY working together to make this all happen, and any thanks I’m accepting, I’m only willing to accept on behalf of that army.
I don’t want to ignore, either, that the kids themselves are part of that army, and that the teamwork that builds between them makes all the difference in a successful season!
So….looking back on the entire twelfth season, here are a few moments we’ve managed to capture!
It started right from the beginning, with fundraising! Even before our season kicked off, we got together for a car wash.
Nothing says “team” like a reasonable number of hoses and soapy water, right?
It kept going with our Bowlathon (I don’t seem to have any photos!) and then happened again in January with our Pancake Breakfast at Applebee’s!
In the MEANTIME, we had our first show. Fee. Fi, Fo, Fum!
Denise was working behind the scenes with Andrea, getting the costumes ready. When the big days came, we had Seniors, our Assistant Director, Emily Robinson, and Denise on makeup (at the very least – others were helping, too, I think!).
Little people were learning how to take their bows!
The year was going on, and rehearsals were happening. The team was solidifying! Drake was there almost every Saturday afternoon, teaching them choreography with the help of Heather!
Fencing is always important! Volunteers from the University of Windsor drama program came in one day to work on fencing skills and other elements of drama with us!
Time for Outrageous Fortune came.
We had a volunteer tech grad come back EARLY FROM NEW YORK to help out (we love you, Sabin)!
Keileigh joined the team for makeup (and later proved indispensible as an understudy for our Fairy Godmother in the next show!
Parents took turns at the bake sale (Secretary-Treasurer Meaghan Clarkson, here, showering love on Jodi Robinson!)
Our beloved Entertainment Technology students rallied round us again!
And the kids worked hard for their director, Amber Milne, and then showered her with love at the close of the production. Yes, Amber IS in the crush at the centre of all this! Our Assistant Director, Kaylee Cabrera, was out of town that week, or she, too, would have been squished!
The season progressed, with a sideline, studying Hamlet to prepare for our upcoming field trip. In addition to the lapbooks they prepared during rehearsal, we had another RTC squish, into the basement of “HQ” to watch a Hamlet movie (David Tennant, 2009) in preparation for the real thing on stage!
Then, finally, we reached Princess Whatsername. A lot of work had gone into getting there, above and beyond the weekly rehearsals, of course.
People had SUFFERED. Grace was the first guinea pig and was pretty much convinced the mask would be stuck to her for life! (It wasn’t!)
Denise’s fingers probably nearly fell off!
Meredith went through untold anxiety with the masks, a few of which didn’t set well and had to be redone, and at one point, we had to place an expedited order for more supplies, and she was chewing her nails and working on them till late at night after our dress rehearsal to have them ready for the Friday morning show!
The garage at “HQ” was suffering its usual onslaught of various coats of paint and expansion foam and wood shavings…we will never, ever be able to move, I don’t think. Kerri, John, Doug and Meredith worked pretty hard to get things all ready in time!!
Moving Day arrived, and the Clarksons descended upon us with Kerri to get everything loaded into the UHaul for transportation to the theatre. That was the easy part, as it turned out.
Actually constructing this beast took a little more effort! Then we added a bunch of finishing touches (how many animals did YOU spot in the background by the time we finished, audience members?).
Fortunately, we had our extraordinary techies with us, and our wonderful pianist to support them, as well!
Crystal and Elena (our new-found announcer, at the very least, but she’s a musical theatre student, so there is MORE TO HER DESTINY with RTC next year, we know it!).
The big morning came, and the audience filled up quickly!
Over 400 students from Windsor and Essex County filled our theatre the mroning of the school show! Approximately another 400 came for the next three shows! It was time for our team of actors to shine!
They still didn’t do that alone. Careful loving hands were getting them ready for each show, and carefully watching to make sure the show progressed properly each step of the way.
I’m told that the kids were working hard to make things easier on each other. Several of them had numerous costume changes – in one dressing room, the girls realised that one of them needed extra help and worked out a strategy to have a change of costume all ready and laid out the second their “roommate” came in – they worked together to get her out of the other one, into the new, and out the door in seconds, so it wasn’t as stressful for her. That’s teamwork!
Even “curly-toed weirdos” like Rumplestiltskin need help with their ties to look their best! And this particularly touching photo is a mom and son shot that I really love.
Lots of friendly moments were happening backstage, though there weren’t always cameras around to catch them! Even during cast photos, we got the occasional spontaneous pile-ups!
Joanna was only occasionally able to glance up to see the action. I hear that when she first looked up to see a big bag of cotton candy dancing on stage, she burst out laughing and nearly lost her place in her music!
Stephen handled all the sound effects this time, including our beloved, if very weird, crying baby!
Several of us were hovering in the wings – on mic, ready for scene changes, a wee bit of prompting on the rare occasions that it might be called for, to do our voice-overs for Hansel and Gretel’s dad – whatever it took!
Katina was running around everywhere at once, capturing everything on film, along with Doug, Meaghan and John grabbing extra stills!
And when all was said and done, and the final bows had been taken, it was time for tearful thanks and praise on stage to be shared by the folks who had watched it all come marvellously together.
There was another Director being thoroughly squished (because we are GOOD at squishing at RTC!) – because it’s becoming quite the tradition!
And at the end of it all, a little slap-happy celebration here and there, before the set got dismantled (during which time, all hands were way too busy to take photos!!)
The happy directorial team, Kerri and Caleb!
Thank heavens, through it all, we had the guidance of our truly indispensable Stage Manager:
So just remember. By the time you see this….?
Thank you, and bless you, to all who work so hard onstage and off, to make RTC look so good!