Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Roller-Coaster Week

Good grief, but it's been an emotional week. And it continues. Woke up at 4:30 this morning boo-hooing (again) about KidsPlay. So I'll use this sadly low-visibility forum to organize my thoughts for the curtain speech for this evening's final production of "It's a Howl".

"My name is Christine Schaefer, and I'm the director of the CrazyLake Act-Teen Workshop. I'm also the director of the CrazyLake Acting Company. But mostly, I'm the director of KidsPlay, Inc. children's theatre, and it's on their behalf that I'm making this plea.

KidsPlay has been presenting shows in Greenfield for going on twelve years now. We were here before this theatre was built. We were here before the CrazyLake Acting Company. We were here before Ricks-Weil Theatre Company. When you go out in this community to see theatre at the high schools, there are young people on that stage that came up through KidsPlay. When you come here to see adult shows, you are most likely seeing still more former KidsPlayers or adults who are parents of KidsPlayers. What I'm trying to say is that KidsPlay has been good for Greenfield. This little children's theatre has played an important part in the development of Greenfield into the arts community and a theatre colony it is becoming.

KidsPlay has been rehearsing on the third floor of the Creative Arts and Event Center--thanks to the generosity of Bob and Bev Hunt--for the past three years, but our time there is drawing to a close. We are in desperate need of rehearsal space in hopes of continuing to do what we do best, and that's making people laugh. We are in need of a place to rehearse our next production, "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever".

As director of three different theatre companies, I've stepped out on this stage more than two dozen times in the past couple years to introduce shows and ask for help for KidsPlay. In all that time, I've received one check for $20, one for $100 and one very generous donation of $2000. We know times are hard. We know that because we're about to present to you the results of six weeks of hard work and an evening of laughs for just $5. $5--less than the price of a movie ticket.

This little town has done a lot of amazing things--we've reinvented ourselves as an arts community and a theatre colony. We've all pitched in to renovate this building so that we can enjoy live music and theatre. And surely, we can band together to save KidsPlay.

Tonight, as you're watching this show--and laughing, bcause you will--take a look at the faces of these kids. Look at the joy you see there, the confidence, the joy that comes from being given the opportunity to create, and grow, and entertain. Take in the full measure of what they just gave YOU--and you decide if you have it in your wallet, your purse, your checkbook to help us continue to do what we do best--and that's bring laughter to the stages of Greenfield.

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