It's been a tough couple of weeks at Wayside Theatre for our staff. Lots of work and lots of frustrations. Everyone is feeling the end of this grueling, but ulimately rewarding 50th Anniversary Season nearing its close. I'm feeling it as well. But this afternoon and early evening I got to participate in something that make the frustrations melt away and make me realize why all we do is worth the doing.
I can hear some of you saying, "oh, no, Crocker's in gushing mode again." Well, yes, I am. But before you tune out, let me assure you there's a reason for the gushing. Yes, I am proud of each and every show we do here at Wayside Theatre. This little theatre with a big heart has some truly amazing artists working here who do amazing work that is worth me constantly gushing over. But today, I had the privilege, the joy, and the utter delight to sit back and watch something our team accomplished that is beyond gushing over.
Each spring our Education Department produces an production of Shakespeare. Each show may have an adult or two in the cast, but mostly the cast is populated with local teenagers. Each and every one of these productions has been a small miracle, full of great work, great accomplishment, and the joy that you can only get watching young people tackle the Bard with exuberance and gusto. Without taking anything away from the excellent productions we've done of Romeo & Juliet, Comedy of Errors, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Macbeth, this year's production of The Taming of the Shrew is mind blowingly good and the best of the best.
I got to watch today's final dress rehearsal and I have to tell you, this is one of the best things we've ever done. Our Education Director, Megan McShea, has led our production staff and this group of teens (and a couple of Interns and one other adult) and created one of those magical moments in the theatre that is so good you don't want it to end. Performing out of doors in the gardens of the former Civil Cricket Cafe has all the challenges of doing any kind of theatre outdoors, but this cast grabs Shakespeare by the words and makes it come alive in ways that astound. At the risk of over hyping the accomplishments of everyone associated with this wonderful show, I can't think of a production we've done that I'm more proud of.
We're performing The Taming of the Shrew this weekend tomorrow at 4:30 and Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon and 4:30 each day. Weather permitting. Oh, yeah, there's that. We're expecting some rain this weekend, so we'll probably have some rain date performances next weekend to make up for any we might lose this weekend.
If you've been around Wayside Theatre at all as an artist or a volunteer or an audience member, you know how much we effort we put forth on anything we do and you know the strength of our committment to our Education programs and the amazing young people who take advantage of the opportunities we offer. I urge you to come see this show this weekend, (or on one of the rain dates next weekend should that be necessary). And I also ask you to do these amazing teens and this amazing production a big favor. Share this post. Tell folks you know to come and see this show. Yeah, I know, I want you to do that all the time. But, folks, this one's special and it deserves to be seen, to be enjoyed, and yes, to be gushed over.