I want to take some time and do some stories from my years in theatre and performing arts. I mentioned very early in this blog that I got into the Theatre Department because the principal in my interview talked about the activities I did in high school. I spoke of how much I loved the Performing Arts Department and how they gave me a sense of self in an otherwise mediocre high school career. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about me. I had the acting abilities of an old and tired boot. My singing scared everyone within a three-mile radius. I wasn’t good but I had a passion. I still have a toy stove that was given to me by Larry Tuveson, the Vocal Director at Lakewood High School. He gave me a lot of confidence and gave me a sense that I had more to offer the world. He gave me a toy stove because I was the props person on our production of Fiddler on the Roof. I had some small parts but my big job was props. I want to depart a little and do a story from my job as props and how much I cared. I found a real antique stove and was able to use it in production. This is a story of triumph out of tragedy.
I was looking at the props from the back of the theatre a couple of nights before the production and saw a stay piece of lumber on the roof and had my team remove it. The sets were well beyond a normal high school production. The buildings were three-sided and on wheels. When someone went into a building, it was a real building. We didn’t want anything messing with that level of perfection. Nothing more was said until that night for dress rehearsal. We were so authentic that the fiddler was perched on the roof for the prologue and Tradition. Just before the curtains opened I heard a scream, a thud, and a groan. By the way, before I get too far into the story, the Fiddler was my best friend Bruce Burfield. Mr. Tuveson came backstage to see what the commotion was about. I was behind him when he asked Bruce what had happened. Did I mention that he found Bruce in a heap in front of the house? My mistake, he was in a heap on the floor holding his violin over his head. Bruce proceeded to tell him that he must have missed the block of wood that had been nailed to the roof so that he could stay up there with his slick new shoes. It was starting to dawn on me what that block of wood was for on the roof.
The end result was that Bruce wasn’t too badly hurt. It took me a while to tell him I was the one who removed the block of wood. We put the block back and painted it right away. This story highlights the value of extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. We got points for work on the show for our grade. I was always among the highest point-getters. The reason is simply that I lived to be there and not at home or my job. I now know as a teacher that many students do not jump out of bed to come to our classes. They tolerate our classes so that they can get to clubs, activities, and sports. I was lucky enough to invite Mr. Tuveson to a production here at Rangeview as a way to tell him that his efforts didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated. The best part was that I directed Fiddler on the Roof at Rangeview and my daughter was my stage manager. It is one of our favorite times together.