Every year I, Jenny the Executive Director of PAL, sit down to write a post about the 4th of July. This year as I pondered what to write about in celebration of our nation’s independence, I found myself reflecting on my time in the theatre. Yes, the theatre.
You see I grew up in a small town and in 4th grade I fell in love with musical theatre. I had watched musicals before because my mom loved them too, but in 4th grade I got to be in a musical. It wasn’t the most glamorous role. I mean I was Miss Priss, a cow that Jack sold to get some beans that eventually grew into a beanstalk. But to this day I still remember the opening lines of the production and did I mention that I rocked head and neck gear while donning this costume? Anyway, that role and my teacher, Mrs. Pinquoch, changed me.
As I grew older I discovered my talent was not on the stage, but rather behind the scenes. I loved being a stage manager or helping out with the lights and Mrs. Pinquoch was with me the entire way. In fact she took me to my first big show in Seattle, Wait Until Dark, which to this day one of my favorites, even though it isn’t a musical.
What I grew to love most though was not only the adrenaline and camaraderie that theatre brings, but how theatre had this way to speak truths and challenge us in ways other avenues couldn’t. Theatre was thought-provoking, accepting, and in my small little town it taught me a lot.
Which brings me I guess to today. As I seek to understand, learn, listen, and change I realize that theatre primed to me a person willing to be uncomfortable and to rest in humility. It taught me to think outside of myself and seek understanding from others who are different than me.
So for this year, I will be celebrating by reflecting and also jumping on the band wagon, as Lin Manuel’s Hamilton will be available for all of us to watch via Disney+. It’s the perfect musical to watch this weekend.