Doing a musical play requires the actors to do a lot. They all must sing, and dance, and learn lines, but more importantly, they must learn how the show goes together. They must learn the order of the scenes and look ahead to what comes next and where they need to be and what they need for their next entrances and to be absolutely QUIET backstage. They need to keep track of their costume pieces and props. They need to remember their places backstage and when they go on stage. There is much to learn and much to remember.
Probably the most gratifying part of directing a show is watching how these young actors help each other. I saw them help each other change their costumes and make sure everybody looked good before they went onstage. I saw them trying to take good care of their costume pieces and attempt hanging them up on their hangers. (Have you ever watched a 5-year-old try to hang up his clothes? Even trying, he gets a A for effort!) I watched older kids (9+) take care of the younger kids, shepherding them into positions. It really is a glorious thing to witness all of these selfless acts.
Seeing a few of my "grown-up" character boys yesterday at Church, I realized that they are still less than half the sizes of their fathers. As a director, I suppose you have to be able to BELIEVE that these kids can become their characters. I guess that my part, as the Director, was actually putting into practice seeing the POTENTIAL of a child.