Last night my husband and I went to see our niece in her elementary school play. She is a 5th grader at a school my sister attended (I was bused to another school due to over-crowding).
The play itself was marginally interesting, but I loved seeing the kids (mostly girls) singing and dancing their hearts out. They were so pleased with themselves and had every right to be proud of their hard work.
Naturally it brought me back to the plays I participated in as a kid. In 4th grade I was a skeleton* in The Wizard of Oz and in 5th grade I was a cat in The Pale Pink Dragon. Both were small speaking parts with just one or two lines. I also ran a spotlight and did some set work. It still amuses me to recall how my white skeleton gloves stood out against the dark-colored tree I was holding, showing clearly on the recorded video. Although I never participated in drama productions after 5th grade, I'm glad for the experience of those two plays. I'm also glad that plays haven't been cut because of budget woes, at least in this one school district.
I was flipping through the program before the play started and recognized a head shot of one of the 3rd graders from pictures her aunt posts on Facebook. A quick look around the audience confirmed that my Facebook friend (and my father's former employee) was sitting across the aisle in the same row as us. Further browsing revealed that the daughter of two former high school classmates was also in the cast. Sometimes it really does feel like a small town.
*Obviously they added characters in order to have more kids involved. My skeleton character was the assistant to the Assistant Wicked Witch.