Man is it snowing outside! I hope everyone is enjoying (or did enjoy) your snow day.
How did your first off-book date go this week? For many of you it went pretty well. For a few of you, it could have gone better. But guess what? That’s what rehearsal is for. Just don’t forget that you have to do work outside of rehearsal, too.
We did get through the entire first scene pretty successfully this week, without the script. While doing that I made sure that everyone knew who they would be fighting in that scene and when they would enter to do so. When I actually teach the fight choreography the spacing will work itself out. Also of note this week, we finished blocking the end of Act 1 (minus the fair “business”), which is perfect because this coming Saturday, everyone must be off-book for the rest of Act 1 (scenes 2 & 3). One more act to go and we’ll be all set!
And more importantly, we had our canned food drive for the Natick Service Council. This is something we do during each show and it’s really important. Natick Drama Workshop is all about community, so it’s good to give back. As we said at rehearsal a couple of weeks ago, by bringing in canned goods we are giving back to the community that supports us.
NDW has been around for a long time. When I was in 8th grade we were celebrating our 35th year. That was over 20 years ago! (Yes, feel free to do the math now to figure out how old I am.) This theater program has been part of the community for a very long time. We’ve had directors and musical directors that taught in Natick public schools. We’ve had several staff members who grew up in Natick. We’ve also had some children of NDW alumni go through the program.
For me, NDW gave me a new community. There are kids that I would not have talked to in high school (and who wouldn’t have talked to me) that I was in NDW with and guess what, we talked, and still do to this day (thank you social media). I can reach out to someone who went through this program and we immediately have something to bond over because of NDW (like Mr. Rufo at the high school). But our community is so much bigger than that.
NDW is community theater at its best. Yes, it’s a workshop, but you’re doing theater because you love it, period. And that goes, not just for our actors, but also for our NDW parents and our alumni that keep coming back. We have so much fun in the gym every Saturday, but there are so many others involved in this show who help out because they want to (and because their kids are in the show). There is a huge sense of camaraderie that exists beyond the gym and friendships that are made between the adults behind the scenes.
I’m proud to work at Natick Drama Workshop. I’m also proud to be an alumna (can I just be the NDW poster child already?). Even on the worst Saturdays, when we can’t get our actors to be quiet for more than two seconds (yes, that is every Saturday lately), I’m so happy to be at Cole with all of you and to be part of this wonderful community. And I love going to see high school shows, starring many past cast members (sometimes directed by, or even written by, our alumni).
Each mentor group that our actors have is like a mini community, and it changes up each show. I have heard such great stories from alumni who talk about their experiences with mentor groups as 5th graders and how that led to them treating others when they were in 7th and 8th grades. This program didn’t exist when I was in NDW, but I’m so glad that it exists now. What other program forces you to get to know your fellow castmates (or teammates) in this way?
Everything that NDW has become has enriched our role within the community by being the best community we can be at Cole. Why not take that and spread some of our love to the rest of the Natick community? Without Natick’s love and support for the past 50 plus years we would not be here. So as you use the snow day to go over your lines and sing your songs and review your choreography, remember that what you put in you will get back. And the more you put in, the happier you will be because you’ll be able to come here Saturday morning with confidence. That will allow you to just relax and enjoy the wonderful community we have all built together.