I used to direct the winter play every year for 25 years. Winter in the Catskills, winter in Rockland County offered lots of uncertainty. Snow was our enemy. Weather forecasts with snow animations made my blood freeze with fear. I missed rehearsals, cast meetings and of course, sometimes performances on their scheduled dates but still, I loved taking up the winter challenge, meeting Mother Nature head on, daring her to snow on my parade.
It was a dead and dark time of the year and a good time to offer drama kids a lit up auditorium, especially if they didn’t play ice hockey or basketball.
Not only did we have to deal the early darkness, we had the interuption from exams at the end of January, but somehow, we always produced a theater event we could feel good about. In the end, a critical person was always the high school principal. Always wary about school administrators once I began sitting in the “director’s chair” I realized that I needed to make friends with the man, usually who lived in the main office.
It was Willie’s Much Ado about Nothing and I was proud of our production, the cast, the crew, the staff, all fantastic and then snow forecasts began to scare all of us. It arrived late on Tuesday night, a LOT of snow and school was called off immediately, so that destroyed our dress rehearsal. That was okay. The kids were ready and a bit of tension would be a good thing, but we needed a preview on Thursday to get the school excited about another Shakespeare play. We needed one last run-thru on Thursday afternoon and what if there was no school on Thursday? Could we perform on Friday night? No preview, no last run-thru?
I called Bob at home and he was waiting for my call. He had been thinking, ready to support me as best he could. It was pretty clear that there would be a delayed opening on Friday but he had a plan, offering me a free day for the cast and crew and subs for me and my team. We would have the shortened day to rehearse, prepare the preview and present it in the last periods of the day.
The play was a hit and Bob, my hero! Now he wasn’t always so easy, but no matter what had happened in the past or would come in the future, it didn’t matter. He was my snow drama hero forever!
I have lots of great school memories, but Snow Plays, they tested my teacher’s mettle.
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