to my good friend Jim Drake for the conversations and prayers this weekend. it was a lot of fun. Jim sent me a message about a play that i directed back in the day and it brought back the memories so i thought i’d share them. i wish i had production pics from my shows, but this was before i had a digital camera. i’m sure i could track some down from the yearbook, but i’ll just post standard pics.
the first time i saw “And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson” was at the State One Act meet. it was performed by Sealy High School. the set was sparse and it was the first time i’d seen a truly ensemble cast. i was intrigued.
i changed schools that summer and was put in charge of the JH play at my school. the first year we did “Sarah Crewe” because i wanted as many kids as possible to get a chance to be in the play.
that same year i saw my friend Sally Maxey’s production of “Dance Real Slow” at Rio Vista. she got totally hosed at Regional. should have gone to state. great performance. the next year, i was asked to do HS and JH play at my school. i did “Voice of the Prairie” at HS
and decided to do “Dance Real Slow” with the JH. i divided up all the parts and had a 15 member cast. we won district for the second year in a row. those kids actually annihilated the other schools.
the next year the HS did “Alice and Wonderland” ala the Manhattan Theatre Project and Andre Gregory.
JH did “The Dancer’s” by Horton Foote.
HS advanced to area and JH won yet again. so we’re on a roll here.
i start kicking around plays to do and ask to do “The Hands of It’s Enemy” by Mark Medoff.
my principal says no. too mature. so the HS settles on “And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson”
JH did “Find Me” that year.
i decided to do “Dance” with a cast of 7. Elizabeth, her parents and a chorus of four. we did the whole thing with no set change, a wheel chair and no costume changes. the soundtrack was solo piano from the George Winston album “Plains”. it was the most simple show i’ve ever done. and i have to say it was beautiful. even for me after working on it for 3 months, it struck me every time. our parents would cry over and over again. it was amazing. we won district and advanced through area to the Regional round. we had to go first at Regional which is a death wish. we get to awards and i have two honorable mention, two all-star cast and best actor, and WE DON’T GO TO STATE! i was crushed and so were my kids. but those are the breaks.
i truly enjoy directing and creating those pictures and moments.