Thursday, January 05, 2012

Reminiscing about Drama

I was caught in a crowd of automobiles yesterday entering Madison, but the slow-down allowed me to pause in front of the old elementary school building. It now houses the arts center. I paused a moment to read the lighted sign in the front yard announcing a drama group’s audition for the play “Ramona”. That prompted me to recollect my own entrance into dramatics.

During a session in North Carolina at two-month summer camp dramatics was offered as a fun course. At age 14  I decided my timid ways needed to be injected with some energy that would bring me out of my shell. I auditioned for several summer plays. I loved it and showed a flair for improvising. I recall only one play in which I played the lead: “The Ghost in the Green Gown.”

If you remember the plays in your high school, those silly ones that required the entire senior class on stage at one time or another, “Ghost” was just as silly, but required only 6 participants. I was the ghost with more lines to speak than anyone. During that play when the other players forgot their lines, I incorporated the missing lines in my speech to cover their forgetfulness. 

Armed with summer success, I began participating in high school and junior college. By then we dropped the name dramatics to drama. I continued participating in senior college. When I became a teacher I took on the responsibility of being drama sponsor in small schools.

When I married we joined the local Little Theatre (now called New Stage) and helped backstage with what I had learned in college – makeup. I had become pretty adept in the basics of stage makeup.  But the love of the stage beckoned me. I auditioned for “The Man Who Came to Dinner” and got a good spot as the maid.  I worked one summer under a visiting director and learned more than I ever expected. By then I had a heavy load teaching and unable to audition for any more plays. With new family responsibilities drama dropped low on my priority list. I’m still haunted by the fact that I no longer have the stamina to learn lines, practice nightly long hours, and deliver them satisfactorily.

However, news of auditions for plays, like the one on the signboard I saw yesterday, tugs at my heart. It gives me a chance to reminisce of fun times being someone else.


Anne said...

Why not try it again?

CabinWriter-- said...

Anne, my memory and the energy to stay late nights rehearsing won't allow me. The only thing I have left is a loud voice. I'll bet I can speak to the last person on the last row.