Performances and perspectives
It is Saturday evening, I have a mountain of homework, I’m tired, and I can feel the weight of balancing school and extracurricular activities crushing me. I peek through the red curtain and see the audience slowly wandering in. My stomach churns, and as I turn to steady myself, I see my family, a company of 60, a medley of small children, elders, young adults and teenagers like myself. I observe their interactions: the gray-haired grandfather talking of his grandkids to the wide-eyed toddlers, the young professionals sharing college advice with anxious teenagers, and a young mother with a clump of children hugging her waist, laughing and saying her kids do the same thing. My heart immediately lightens, and I’m ready to perform because I realize I have an army behind me.
Queensbury Theatre has an obvious family dynamic; we love each other, we fight, and we spend hours together. One unique aspect I love about Queensbury is that it is a community theater, allowing my theater family to be a compilation of people from different backgrounds, ages and ethnicities. This has given me a unique opportunity to form relationships outside of my regular friend group, with people more experienced in life, theater and politics, and has introduced new opinions and ideas, helping to shape me as a person.
It was August 2016 when my theater family and I performed Whistle Down the Wind, a show that conveys the innocence of children in the face of conflict and emphasizes the contrast between unforgiving adults who refuse to see the internal goodness of a convict and their compassionate children. This play’s message spoke to me both on and off the stage. Even though it portrayed the children as the victors of the play, caught somewhere in between, I realized how much we have to learn from both pure children and seasoned adults. In my theater family I play the part of sister, confidant, janitor, child, adult and much more, each role granting me a new perspective and appreciation for my diverse family.
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