Monday, February 11, 2019

a crescendo on, and from, the stage


a play on paper is not alive,
just as blueprints are not a building,
anatomy sketches not a person,

actors learn lines, then blocking,
still it’s not real, more shadow than substance,

if the play’s a musical,
then songs start to flash of the animate,

I love it when we stumble through a first run,
for the whole takes a few breaths on its own,

costumes start to be added, then makeup,
appearance reinforces and reveals character,
individual parts start to stir with power,

the first rough dress rehearsal:

more and more is coming together
so that glitches, forgotten lines, 
missed entrances, breaks in character,
have even more power to negate
the positivity of the pulling together,

the wholeness, though, now has a power
that wills itself into being:
the show is coming into itself,
each character will shine forth
and each belief in self allows the belief in the other,
and a wholeness begins to break through on the stage,

the last dress rehearsal,
and over 95% of the show releases itself,
the meaning clearer and clearer
as the whole will not be denied,
my belief in student, in part, in the whole,
supported by what is before me,
mics are added so that voices have power
to reveal lines, songs, content,
props and set pieces are frames within which
story reaches down, reaches up, reaches out
to hold itself, and us,

then to our first audience,
young people whose imaginations ache to believe in wonder,

and all the parts click into a whole,
a new life takes its first steps,
and we are all  parents, lost in the toddler,
who will be herself,
who will be himself,
our second performance works so well
that my tears flow freely,
as what, as who I see on stage
throbs with the power each child has
if the way can but be found to release it,

I watch an individual and appreciate the group,
I watch the group and appreciate the individual,

I applaud, I cheer, I cry,
the play is alive, as are all the students, behind and on the stage,
who have found the way
for the inner lights to dazzle us all,

our first fully-intentional audience,
and I see them captivated, one with the show,

a spontaneous standing ovation at the end,

we are true to the emotion of the wonder
that has been before us,
the wonder that pulls us to our feet,
a greatness before us, with us, lives,
it deserves the celebration
that life should demand of the stasis,
the stasis that calls us away from risking
to be true to what we can be,
more see this show than any show in CFS history,
for now we have a spanking new Performing Arts Center
with room for over 300 in the audience,

the production crescendoes to an end,

I hope the success each won with individual and collective effort
will live within them and remind them to risk, to work, 
to see a city on a hill, and help to build it.

by Henry H. Walker
February, ‘19


Unknown said...

Many thanks for sharing this Henry. You made it come alive through this poem!



Unknown said...

We loved the show! What a fabulous way for the MS students to share their talents and the new performing arts center with the CFS community. Thanks for the words and photos that capture the talent, effort, team work, growth, and beauty of the cast, crew, and performance.


mindy spadacenta said...

Henry you are truly special. Thanks for this wonderful share