Some of the duties as a non-profit theatre company that you kinda have to do are outreach events and promotions. Recently, I’ve just been on three of these and I figured I’d share the experiences with you all.
The first I went on was a two-assembly performance at Davidson Middle School. Going there brought back a lot of memories about MY middle school experience for me, which wasn’t so pleasant, but it was reassuring to know that I would NEVER have to go through any of that again. That day I was a visitor, and therefore everything was good. We sang a few musical numbers for each assembly (We’re Off To See The Wizard, If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Were King Of The Forest, Over The Rainbow, and Merry Old Land Of Oz) and then had a quick question and answer session. The assemblies were for the 6th graders, and then the 7th and 8th graders. Some of them were very disinterested, but there were a few kids who I could see attentively listening and completely tuned in to what we were doing. It was cute. The questions we got asked were mostly about stage fright and if we get it or not, and what the costumes were made of and how the dogs were. It was a little nerve wracking to be there (most of the kids were at least 2 feet taller than me, so it was a little intimidating), and also a little frustrating because during my song a lot of them decided they were bored and started to talk amongst themselves. I didn’t stop or make a scene however, I just did what I usually do in situations like this: turn up the volume. I must have sung “Rainbow” louder than I’ve ever sung it before in my life, but it actually turned out really well so I was pleased. The whole day went way better than I expected, and I had a great time being with my fellow principles or my “boys” as I so fondly call them. (Note to anyone planning an assembly for middle schoolers: they really hate sing-a-longs. not a good idea.)
The second event I participated in was the Memorial Day Parade in Mill Valley, CA. I’ve done this parade once before when I was in Annie, but this year it was very different. For a start, they didn’t want costumes, so all of us who decided to do it wore our Mountain Play t-shirts. Also, they didn’t have a vehicle like they usually do, so we had to walk carrying banners and flags. The munchkins who participated sang and danced down the streets of Mill Valley and the crowds loved them. I, on the other hand, wanted to save my voice and not risk injuring myself, so I simply smiled and carried a flag. The whole day was tiring, but fun, and it meant that a lot of people saw us and were reminded that they need to come to the show!
The third event happened on Tuesday the 27th, and that was a special “highlights” performance at the Redwoods retirement home in Mill Valley. This is something the Mountain Play does every year and it’s special because most of the people in the home are old Mountain Play veterans that can no longer make it up the mountain to see the shows, so we bring the show to them. We usually bring all the costumes down for them to see, but because there are over 150 (I think…) this year and a lot of them are very fragile, we couldn’t, so again we wore our Mountain Play shirts. It felt like a short show as we only did 11 musical numbers, but this really isn’t a “musical” to me, it’s a play with music. Despite it’s length and the lack of costumes, the residents enjoyed the performance very much, and that was enough for us. This is probably my favorite thing to do when I’m in the Mountain Play, because it’s just so fulfilling putting on a show for people who truly appreciate it.
The show is still going well. 3 more weekends and 4 more performances for those of you who live in the Bay Area! June 1st, 7th, 8th, and 15th, all at 1 pm. Hope to see you on the Mountain!