I’ve been sorting through my phone’s photo archives, full of projects and events we’ve had over the past three school years. It’s my final effort to gather up a digital scrapbook for my 8th grade students, because we cannot do the in-person, get-closure, it’s-time-to-move-on-and-up traditions at this point, and they need a little joy in their pocket as they transition forward.
Then, I stumbled across this forgotten scene and it made me grateful that I don’t delete much from the endless file cabinet of my photo app.
Cue video. Two years ago. Frigid March night. Outside a Broadway theatre to see “Anastasia: The Musical” with my students, their parents, and my Dad as a companion chaperone. Freezing cold—the kind where your bones ache the longer you stand there.
I’m not a big “talk-to-the-camera-live” kinda girl, but this made me SO HAPPY that I’m not sure why I never posted it or showed it to others (maybe it was my goofy hat? The gum I was chewing to keep my teeth from chattering?).
It snowed this delicate powdery snow. It was magical and unexpectedly special. We all squealed and I just had to film it. 13 seconds of pure bliss.
Don’t let my childlike wonder fool you. It wasn’t my first snow, but this snow meant something different. I grew up outside of Chicago, and there was always a sense of awe at that first set of flakes spiraling downward in icy splendor. There is a different atmosphere in NYC when it snows, a frenzied pace to your stride, a sudden need to clasp your scarf tighter and shuffle your knit cap over your ears. It covers a multitude of “sins,” distracting us from the black trash bags piled everywhere, and the unsavory odors. The air was brisk and the excitement of seeing our show coupled with the natural beauty was intoxicating.
No matter what issues occurred on that trip (and there were several!), I absolutely adored taking this journey to share something I’m so entirely passionate about.
I needed to see this video again, as I’m sorting through my emotions about the craft I cherish so dearly, and finding ways to hold tight to the hope that its mystique will still be there after the virus fades. I know the hesitancy to return to a crowded playhouse could spell doom for future shows, but I have hope.
Now, more than ever, I’m determined to keep pushing for live theatre (and not just live-streams from home), especially audience experience. There’s nothing more transformative than sitting in anticipation, as the orchestra music swells, the chatter of the crowd diminishes, and the curtain opens.
Theatre is SO important to the human experience that it teaches us, while sitting together in the dark, how to love one another in the light.
As these past few days have unraveled, I’ve gotten word about Broadway closures, and even the replica Globe Theatre in London shutting its doors.
I will return to New York City again some day, and I will bring others with me. They need that metamorphosis as much as I do. ❤️
Dancing snowflakes swirling down, milky white and untouched by anything that could mar their beauty, are another way of telling us that new beginnings are ahead. They certainly were on that night. They can be now. We just need to search for moments like this one to remind us what is good and wonderful about life.
This is only an intermission.
~Kindred Spirit (video 3/2018; post 5.21.20)~