Monday, November 17, 2014
This past week was Hell Week and opening weekend for my school's production of Hairspray. For those who don't know- Hell Week is a week of dress rehearsals, where you work 14 hour days making sure the show comes together before it opens- it involves finishing the set, perfecting lights/sound, and getting the actors ready.
Right before all that started I got an email, out of the blue, from Lily Hung, an associate producer of the original Broadway production of Hairspray, as well as an associate producer on the movie (the Travolta one everyone knows). She was friends with John Waters, Marc Shaiman, and all the original production team and actors, and she's now working at NYU (one of the top theatre schools in the world). She's also an alumn of the high school I teach at, and the former head of their "music theatre club" (which is an ancestor of my current program).
She came to Saturday's performance and spoke to the cast before and after the show. It was a wonderful treat for the cast and crew, but also wonderful for me personally. After the show, we talked about drama at ERHS and she couldn't believe how big the program had become. From a club that spent 6 months preparing a show in 1992, to a program encompassing six classes, four major productions a year, plus a full-time improv team, and more- I realized yet again how lucky I am to have the job I do.