It is honestly bittersweet typing this message. Mamma Mia has been the department’s and my primary work focus for the past, almost three months now.

And we’re entering the breather week before our final weekend. Crazy.

I hope you all get a chance to see the show. The kids have worked so hard. They’ve poured their hearts into this thing and I couldn’t be more humbled and more proud of how this has all turned out. Many of you have worked really hard behind the scenes and volunteered in a whole variety of different roles and you’ve glimpsed the craziness behind the scenes of making this all happen. Thank you to all of you.

It takes a village. It really does and like a village every member no matter their role is integral to how this all comes to fruition. I just want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you. You are part of this wonderful experience. You’ve contributed in so many ways behind the scenes from actually being on campus, or chauffeuring your non-driving high schooler’s and their friends to and from rehearsals, providing food, re-arranging at times precariously balanced family schedules, making | buying food, volunteering to steam clothes…even just sitting in the audience with admiration and love and cheers fully supporting your kiddo. All of it matters, all of it contributes to the relationship, the life that is the La Salle community. So thank you. I can’t say it enough. Thank you.

And seriously…if you haven’t had a chance to see the show yet…please come. You will be encouraged, you’ll laugh, possibly cry and clap and sing and possibly leave the theater with a sense of joy.

So, here’s the student’s schedule for this next week.

– Monday, 04.25 – RECOMMENDED Rest and Recovery day. Take care of yourselves. [That means no rehearsal.]

– Tuesday, 04.26 – PICK UP REHEARSAL #1 [3:30 – 5:30pm.] All understudies, Sam, Harry, Bill, Sky, Pepper & Eddie. [No ENSEMBLE or leads. Continue your recommended rest and relaxation.]

– Wednesday, 04.27 – PICK UP REHEARSAL #2 [3:30 – 6:30pm] FULL COMPANY, Full run of the show, including lights, scene changes, etc. No make-up, hair, costumes are optional, we will USE mics. Understudies as Donna, Sophie, Lisa, Ali, Tanya & Rosie. Leads as ensemble.

– Thursday, 04.28 – Sat. 04.30 – Same CALL TIMES as this past weekend.

– Sunday, 05.01 – CLOSING MATINEE. Same CALL TIMES. ALL CAST and CREW please hang around after for a bit for gifts and thank you’s!

PS – Multiple performances will be filmed this weekend. I’m not going to tell you which days though. I don’t want to psyche anyone out. 🙂

I’m not on campus today. Message if you have anything. Thanks everyone.

Shelton

The above is a copy and paste of the Schoology message posted for the cast and crew this morning. Reminder, the LAST official MANDATORY day for all cast and crew is Monday, March 2 from 3:30 – 6:00pm. This is called STRIKE. It’s when we collectively as a group demo and clean up everything. It often involves tears, jokes, hugs and though it’s all manual labor, cleaning bathrooms and dressing rooms, hanging up costumes, disassembling the set; AND is also a cathartic way for the students to say goodbye to this experience, each other.

Moving on from Mamma Mia! We’ve got plenty of things still happening over the next month and a half. 🙂

Just under a dozen of our theater students will be traveling to London from June 21-28, 2022. A very special shout out to Ginean McIntosh for joining the team and stepping forward as a parent chaperone for this trip. For those of you who have students on this tour, this upcoming Wednesday, 04.27.2022, from 3:30 – 4:00pm. There’s a very brief informal meeting on campus for JUST students to update on a few details of the trip and if she’s still around for them to meet with our EF representative.

After Mamma Mia closes and I have a free afternoon, I’ll be scheduling a London meeting for students and adults where we’ll specifically cover in country itinerary, if you haven’t met her yet you’ll get a chance to meet Ginean, to re-connect with me and to hopefully get even more excited about this life-impacting experience your kiddos are about to be a part of.

Tuesday, May 23, 2022 Is the 4th Annual Theater Awards Ceremony. It will take place in the La Salle Theater and start at 6:30pm. This is a whole family-friendly event. It’s when we take a couple of hours to get together as a community and celebrate the past year. Everyone is welcome.

Because it is a theater event, it’s structured similar to the Tony awards. There will be some hosts, a mixture of academic and performance related awards. Some entertainment including original scenes created by La Salle student playwrights. There will be an introduction of the newly elected student leadership team for La Salle’s Chapter of the International Thespian Honor Society as well as induction of newly, qualifying student members into the honor society.

I would encourage you to be there. It’s the last week before seniors are finished with classes and it’s our last “official” theater event of the year. And especially coming out of the past 25 months or so, I think it’s going to be extra meaningful for all of us to celebrate together what the students have accomplished this past year, to publicly practice gratitude to the students and the adults who have gone above and beyond, to remember some of the most impactful moments and performances, artistic and academic, over the course of this year.  Sprinkled with some jokes, some laughs and over-the-top-only-in-theater-moments.

Thank you again everyone, I can’t say it enough and even if I could somehow manage, it wouldn’t suffice for the gratitude I have for all of you. Thank you for choosing La Salle. For committing to this place and pouring into the community and your students.

You and your students are what make this place special. It’s a gift and joy to be a part of it. Thank you all.

Shelton

PS – The featured image is a brief look backstage and how the students invest and take ownership!!! This sign in on the door to our prop room storage. Shayden is our Tanya in Mamma Mia. Minh was part of the crew of Alice in Wonderland and placed about 300 sticky notes in random places all over the theater that say, “Minh thinks your cool.” We’re still opening up drawers and finding those sticky notes.

The past 2 years have been hard on everyone, and pictures like the featured image help remind me how deeply important it is for our students to be in a healthy community with each other. Isolation isn’t healthy. We’re meant to live life together and I’m so grateful we are getting more and more opportunities to go back to doing just that.