For those of you who don’t know, I have an internship at Steep Theatre here in Chicago, and was the Assistant Stage Manager for their previous show, The Knowledge, by John Donnelly. It’s a fantastic script; I highly recommend it! It takes place in Tillbury, Essex, and is about a newly qualified teacher who’s put with the four “problem children.” It’s got wonderful humor and is so incredibly sad. There is a lot of language and whatnot, so just a warning that it is not for those who are especially conservative. But I think it’s a beautiful show. It raises a lot of great questions and touches on some heart-straining topics. Steep did an excellent job with it! Extended run and nearly sold out every night. It was such a wonderful experience with a small cast of seven people I’ve come to know and love dearly. Those are the best theater experiences: where you become a sort of family. They’re such lovely people I’m blessed to know and I learned a lot about my craft and the world of theater by simply being around them. It also made me miss straight plays. It’s been a long time since I’ve done anything other than a musical, and I hope to remedy that at some point. Last weekend was our final show. Last night was my first free Thursday in four months and I only survived it because some friends and I took a road trip to Elburn to watch my friend Eric play his music. While we were there we also took a visit to that wonderful graveyard I told you about! It looks different with grass and leaves on the trees. We were there in October and now it’s June. Very different vibe. Still so peaceful and enchanting. Hopefully tonight I’ll find something to occupy my time, or come 7:00 I’m going to be sitting cross-legged on my couch with a pillow in my lap, looking around me forlornly and lonely, not quite sure what to do with myself. I always go into a sort of withdrawal when a show ends.
In addition to that, four years ago I had one of the most memorable theater experiences I’ve had thus far. It was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota. Not only was it a fantastic show and so much fun with the different styles of songs, the frantic costume changes between back to back numbers we didn’t have time to practice before opening night, and our beloved Elvis impersonator we had as Pharaoh, but that cast was the ultimate theater family. We would hang out after nearly every single rehearsal, whether it was going to someone’s house for treats and I Spy wars or just grabbing ice cream from the Dairy Queen downtown, there was always something – even on nights when we didn’t have rehearsal. We spent all of our time together and I have never been in such a tight-knit cast. It made a huge difference with our performance, how we interacted onstage and played off of each others’ energies. I think that’s what made the show such a success. Of course the music and choreography was great, lots of wonderful talent in the cast, but it was our bond that sealed the deal. Why is all of this coming out now? That show is being remounted this summer in good old Rochester, MN, and their opening night was Wednesday. I am feeling so incredibly nostalgic and miss everyone from the old cast dearly. This is the first summer since 2009 that I haven’t been involved in an Honors Choirs production, and I can’t even get home to see it! Talk about quitting cold turkey. It’s very surreal and downright upsetting. But all good things must come to an end and make way for new adventures, which is how I had my experience with Steep and The Knowledge! We couldn’t bring the Joseph cast back together this summer for a final hoorah, so God gave me another family to cherish during the same fateful summer months. I am so thankful for that experience and am grateful to each and every one of the people at Steep for making me feel welcome and loved and for giving me a wonderful way to spend my nights. I couldn’t have asked for a better alternative. Of course now that show’s over so I’m on the hunt for something to keep me occupied throughout July (And oh my gosh we all look so young in that picture).
I do have something on Saturday and Sunday nights, though! The good things just keep coming. Get out there and make connections and who knows what things will come your way! The Stage Manager I worked with on The Knowledge is Stage Manager for the show Pirates of Penzance on the Tall Ship Windy down at Navy Pier, and they needed a couple extra hands. If any of you have been to Navy Pier, it’s the pirate ship. Yes, I get to spend two nights a week on a pirate ship. Umm…yes please? I’m just thrilled to be on the water. Not being in MN I can’t spontaneously drive up to my grandma’s lake house in Waconia this summer which I really miss. So this will have to hold me until I can get there at the end of July. Wow, I haven’t noticed how well everything worked out until I started writing this. It’s crazy! I do believe everything happens for a reason. I was meant to stay here for the summer and these opportunities were placed so perfectly to make the change easier. Real clever God, You’re a sneaky one. One thing I am really disappointed about though is how I missed the super moon. I’m still upset about it. Don’t wanna talk about it. Just had to throw that out there.
But yes. I’m not even sure how to wrap this one up! Always listen for opportunities knocking and take advantage of whatever might come your way and who knows what will happen! Everything has a way of working itself out in the end, in the way that it’s meant to be. We might just not realize it until after the fact, like how I got hit by a lightning bolt in the middle of all this keyboard clicking. Keep going strong and don’t lose hope! Surprising things happen in unexpected ways.