My first show at Provost Elementary was a leap of faith, for sure. I was approached by the After-School Clubs coordinator to direct the school musical. She had first called the Theater Department at BYU to try to get a college student to come direct, but my friend Teresa Love in that department knew that I had recently relocated to Utah and recommended that they call me instead. The show we agreed on was "A Successor to the Throne." I said that I already had costumes and props ready to go, but would they please find me two assistants and a choreographer.
Not knowing the strengths of my assistants or the choreographer caused me some anxiety at first. The assistants were young aides (college students working part time at the school) who did well for rehearsing lines and general managing of the cast members and their stuff. One even had some real theater skills. They proved very capable at doing what I needed them to do. The CHOREOGRAPHER Greg Rawlins (another BYU student), turned out to be brilliant. He not only came up with beautiful dances, he worked well with the kids encouraging them to do very professional quality finished work. He even painted flowers on the plain pink parasols to give the dances added interest. See his work on the video "A Successor to the Throne - Provost Elementary School 2013."
Chelsea Ally taught dance at Provost Elementary through a grant from the Beverly Sorenson Foundation. We were so lucky to have her expertise to also choreograph several of the school musicals. Too bad we did not get video from those productions. Her ability to pull performances out of kids who had "never danced a step before in their whole entire lives" was remarkable. She did "Never Cry Wolf," "The Adventures of Dick Whittington," "Momotaro," and "Chicken Licken."
I have been amazed at how lucky I have been to have many other talented people just appear and want to help. Several parents of kids in my casts have admitted that they had dance training in the past and were comfortable "teaching and maybe even doing some choreography." Wow! That was an understatement! These moms were just great! I am lucky to also have talented dancing daughters who helped their mother out on occasion.
Looking forward to working again this summer with my daughter Camilyn Workman who has agreed to choreograph this summer's Theater Camp. Cami was a principal dancer in the very first production of "A Successor to the Throne 2006" (See "Autumn Dancer" photo above.) The kids are in for a treat!