The janitor had set up 100+ chairs and we figured some of the smaller children could sit on the floor close to the stage. Word must have gotten out, though, because people kept coming and coming. We had to keep scrounging for more and more chairs. Some teachers graciously opened their classrooms and organized volunteers to transport more chairs for the audience. I was impressed by their swift thinking and the volunteering spirit of the parents. They simply stepped in and set up the chairs and afterwards made sure they were quickly put back in their original places. Many hands made light work. They even helped strike the set and pack up the costumes and props while I managed striking the sound equipment.
The first show, "The Musicians of Bremen," was the one I was most worried about. (Note to self, make sure to ALWAYS schedule a dress rehearsal closer to the actual performance, NO MATTER WHAT.) This little cast did not get the benefit of a dress rehearsal the day before the performance, and it showed. The children's timing was a little off because it had just been too many days since they had run their show. But the parts they remembered looked good and they had an appreciative audience.
The second show was "The Tale of Chicken Licken." These 2nd graders had had the benefit of rehearsing almost daily for many weeks. The children knew their lines and songs and dances very well. In fact, they knew each others' parts cold and could have easily switched parts or filled in for missing actors. We almost had to do that because a few of the actors had been sick during the week. But they came through like real troupers and the SHOW WENT ON!
I was very pleased with the efforts of all of these students. Most of them had never been in a production of any kind ever before. More importantly, they got the real essence of the effort and that was to take PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for making this show the best it could be. And I hope they build on that idea of taking personal responsibility in the other parts of their lives from this point on.