Guys. Can we talk about PCT again?
Yes, I know I talk about it all the time. Or, that is, I gush about it annually. I talked about it HERE and HERE and HERE, for example. What is PCT? It’s a fifty one year old community theater for Pelham’s fifth and sixth graders. We’ve got talented kids, excellent directors, and a full cast of parent and alumni volunteers. We routinely sell out multiple well received shows. Yeah, yeah. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not.
Tonight I want to talk about the community aspect of PCT. About how, with every new year that I’m involved with PCT, it’s clearer to me that THIS is what makes PCT special. If you have a kid in the show, you have to serve on a committee. Maybe you design or paint sets. Or gather props. Or help with hair and makeup. Or design and make costumes. Or sell ads for the playbill. Maybe you’re assigned to the photography committee and your job is to document the story for the kids so that they can see it for themselves at the cast party after the final performance. This kind of commitment is kind of unusual in today’s busy world, and I’m sure that some people might find it off-putting at first. I mean, nobody has enough time.
But here’s the thing. When you are involved in something like this, you become part of something bigger. You form relationships that you wouldn’t have otherwise have formed. And the show’s success becomes your success.
Today, I watched something amazing happen. There was one actor in the show who had gotten upset during the dress rehearsal over having missed a line. The action had to pause and one of the directors had to pull him aside to talk him through the issue and how he would have to roll with it if that were to happen during a live show. It was handled sweetly by all involved. This young actor performed beautifully through the first two shows with not a single mistake. Today, during the last show, I was standing backstage just before intermission and when the first act ended, everyone came running in off the stage as if there had been a great victory. “THAT’s how you do it!” they were saying, “That was GREAT – you would never have known!” Apparently he had missed a line, and had rolled with it and covered it so smoothly so that nobody in the audience would ever have known things hadn’t gone as planned. The directors were proud of this kid, and so were his peers, the stage crew and all the parent volunteers he had gotten to know over the course of preparing the show. His smile was as big as if he had won first place in some contest. And it was a victory for all of us.
That’s what community theater does, I think. We’re so lucky in Pelham to have inherited this beautiful tradition.
Below is the slideshow I put on for the kids today at the cast party. The kids always love seeing themselves on stage for the first time in costume and enjoy singing along to the soundtrack. I love seeing the transformation they make from the early rehearsals to the final show. And I love playing a small part in that transformation.
If you’re a PCT person, you are welcome to view and download any or all my photos from the slideshow HERE using the backstage password from the PCT website. (If you don’t know it, drop me a line). Enjoy. Until next year …
Thanks for looking,
P.S. I’m also kind of psyched that a rehearsal photo took was a winner in a weekly photo contest with a “playing with shadows” theme — thanks for the material, Peter Pan! It’s HERE if you want to see. 😉