Our Turn: The play that never was and the play that will be!
I’m so thankful to work in the School District of Rhinelander, surrounded by supportive people. Directing a play is a lot of work, being in a play is a lot of work, and organizing logistics is a lot of work. When something unforeseen and tragic happens to disrupt “The Best Laid Plans,” sometimes everybody’s world gets upended. That’s what happened with our most recent play. Because of a teenager’s reckless choice, and an unfortunate title and poster, our drama department’s planned performance of Murder for Dummies was canceled. All of us who were involved in MFD understand the cancellation in the wake of our community’s tragedy, and not a single one of us is bitter about it. We realized that our community was already hurt and suffering from the incident and we knew we didn’t need to add anything negative to that pain. Ironically, though, the play had nothing to do with an actual murder and was a light and sweet story about uncovering the true love that was always present in a marriage, but difficult to see sometimes.
As I’m writing this article, we’re supposed to be basking in the glow of another amazing performance and I’m supposed to be focused on packing for my upcoming honeymoon. Instead, we are starting at the beginning of the production process…we picked a new play, our amazing actors and actresses read the play and chose their prefered parts, we’ve cast it, and we’ve started rehearsals. All of our district’s administration has been more than supportive and flexible in our starting over. The day we cancelled, my co-director, Roddy MacMillan, and I found Annie Play Will Do, an adorable play about a drama director who has to scramble at the last minute to produce a play overnight. We couldn’t overlook the parallels to our situation and had to go with it. We are so proud of our students who took the news with decorum and respect and understood the reasons for the changes. They jumped right into the new play and are excited to perform.
Because we had to scramble at the last minute to schedule performances, it was very, very difficult to find a weekend that was free for the super busy students and in which the auditorium wasn’t booked. We finally landed on Thursday, May 14 at 7:30 and Saturday, May 16 at 1:00 AND 7:30. All tickets are $5 and there will be a bake sale and 50/50 raffle to raise money to support these outstandingly talented kids. Please plan to attend the performance because the students have worked extremely hard for an entire semester and it’s going to be an entertaining, uplifting evening.