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The Play

Dave and I are both Theatre lovers. We both traipsed our way through high school on the stage and once married, joined forces on several acting projects.

The most memorable one, was the play we produced at New Life Church in Burnaby way back in... I'm not even sure... like... 2000? It was a waaaay long time ago. Dave directed and I acted as Fairy May in the comedy, The Curious Savage.

I had seen the play at my high school and hand picked the part for myself. I loved the wackiness of the character. Once I had Dave on board for directing, we gathered up friends and got rehearsing.

Overall, we were a little unclear on the expected outcome of said play... was it a fundraiser? Not really? Was it for a purpose? Not really. Mostly, Dave and I wanted to have some fun and put on a good production for other theatre lovers to watch.

And it was pretty dang good. We turned a few heads with a decent quality amateur production. Full set, doors that opened and closed, real paint and carpet on a raised stage. Dave and I even made our money back... something we weren't totally sure would happen.

Theatre has been a huge part of our life. From soundtracks to monologues to overly dramatic children. We seem to thrive on drama.

But way back then, the drama was by choice. Today, we seem to just breed it. It seeps through our blood and messes everything.

Last week, Dave and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary. As usual, we were camping and didn't really celebrate it in any particular fashion, but Dave did write me a lovely card.

In it, were these words:

"When I look at my life as a play, I am so happy with the cast. Too bad we didn't get to choose the plot."

These were not Dave's words, so if they're yours, please take credit. But they pretty much sum up our life right now. And in a theme that fits us so well.

And I am struck by how much I can take this theatre analogy and run with it and find inspiration to keep moving forward to see the final product.

We've got producers (snicker, snicker... Dave and I...5 kids), we've got stage hands, we've got the set... and we've got a whole whack of temperamental play would be complete without them.

So maybe we didn't get to choose the plot. And maybe we'd prefer that the artists be a little less dramatic. And maybe the design team could use some inspiration. And maybe we have no idea how we're going to make it to opening night or what closing night would even look like.

But we're in it together. We're the only cast for this particular play. And along the way, we can learn to tweak the level of drama. We can learn to stop upstaging and work as an ensemble. We can coach each other when lines are forgotten.

And out of a poorly written plot, the kind every director reads and shelves without a second glance, can come lessons of hard work and perseverance. As the lights shine on the stage and the dust cloud become glittering stars, the broken, limping cast will move towards the curtain call, smiles on their faces, knowing they gave it everything they had.

We must all do theatre to find out who we are, and to discover who we could become. - Agusto Boal


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