Become an ambassador of Boonville
Ever since third grade I looked forward to being in the Saints Peter and Paul play at Thespian Hall. I couldn't wait for the day to have a main role at the mysterious hall. While I had already played lead roles in a couple Boonville Community Theater productions, my thirst for the stage grew. It would only be a short time before that day would arrive.
It was February, 2000, and preparations for the play began. 'Li'l Abner,' by Al Cap, was chosen and I was cast as Marryin' Sam, the Dogpatch City preacher.
During preparations and halfway through production Sister Nancy, who had directed the plays since the annual play's incarnation more than a decade before, became ill. She could not continue her duties; therefore she traveled back to her convent in Kansas where she could recuperate.
The future of our play was in jeopardy.
Assistant Director Jill Campbell, my mom, Mr. Sandknop, our principal and Father Dolan convened a meeting to decide the fate of the tradition. I had faith the show would go on but not everyone shared my enthusiasm. Sister Nancy was the backbone of the production even though she let Jill do a lot of the directing.
I do not remember how long the meeting lasted, but the end result was; 'the show must go on.'
Jill became the director while my mom became the assistant director, both with much stage background.
Every evening I would practice my lines with mom. She wanted me to be the best I could, so practice could take hours just for two pages-maybe more. The practices would soon pay off as the final performance nights were drawing ever closer.
The week of the performance came and it was time to practice at Thespian Hall. During one of the opening songs, which was one of my solo performances, I forgot the lyrics. They escaped my mind like the disappearance of the sun before nightfall. Everyone looked, and Jill in her usual way, got me on track. I really do not remember what she said but I am sure she remembers.
I soon recovered my lapse in memory. But, I did make some funny mistakes that only added character to the play throughout the week.
The 'big' night came. It was exhilarating for all 13 of us with lead roles. It was a chance for us to bond in a matter we had not done before, which added to the dynamics to the production.
I still consider this play my upmost favorite memory at Saints Peter and Paul School. It did more than allow me to entertain on stage. It allowed me and everyone in the play to get in front of strangers. It gave the foundation we needed and desired to build our communication skills so we could tackle the world.
The performance would not have been complete without the play being dedicated to Sister Nancy who was very thrilled the play was such a success. One night during the summer after eighth grade graduation I had the privilege to speak with Sister Nancy. She was doing much better. We discussed the roles and how everyone filled their part perfectly. Even though my initial choice was not to play Marryin' Sam, I could not see playing any other character.
After 14 years, the tradition continues.
Saints Peter and Paul Principal Alan Lammers recently said it is important to give students a theater experience.
"Some may find a talent, skill, or interest that they hadn’t thought about before and it may open them to further experiences during high school and beyond. It is also part of being a well-rounded person. It is another aspect of the educational formation of our students."
Alan is right. A theater experience is unique and one that not only showcases a team of actors, but the individuals talents as well. A Theater experience can form us into ambassadors because our community is our stage.