Okay, I admit I have blown hot and cold on "Our Town". It's a well-worn piece of theatre, done by everyone at one time or another. It is beautifully executed by a director who cares very much about the message, with strong and powerful performances by George, Emily, the Stage Manager, Simon, Mrs. Webb, the Gibbses.... But rehearsals have been long and grueling. I have three lines. I move furniture. And of course, I sit....and sit.....and sit.
Fast-forward through Tech Week to Opening Night.
The young lady, Michelle Wafford, who plays Emily presented everyone with a gift. I set mine aside at first, in the rush of getting ready. But then I went to open it. The box said Oriental Trader. What trinket, I wondered, did she find at Oriental Trader to represent "Our Town"? Or would it be just some generic good-luck gift? I took it out, and unwrapped it--it was a silver star, hung with a satin cord. Written on it with permanent marker was this: "A star is mighty good company...." A line from the show, which just happens to be MY line. ONE of my three lines. And of course, the tears came.
A star IS mighty good company. The starlight created by the lights on stage, the stars around me who carry the show so elegantly and eloquently, and the star that burns in all of us to make sure we look as hard as we can for as long as we can, that we live life to the fullest, and that you never know when the tiniest of gestures--a silver star on a satin cord--will touch someone and bring the message home.