Today is a big day for us, opening night of Annie.
Last year Abigail wanted to tryout for Narnia at Theater in the Grove so Tom took her up to audition and upon their return he declared that he could see himself being in the play too. Thus beginning our journey of becoming a “theater family”. Tom landed the role of Mr. Beaver and Abigail one of the White Witch’s creatures. I helped with make-up with Anna in tow.
The experience was so positive for us that we said we would make it a tradition to be a part of the winter production as a family each year. Abigail, Anna and Tom would try out and I would help out behind the scenes…I’m not much of an actor. Come to find out Anna really had no desire to audition for a play either. She said she would be in it but there was no way she would get up on stage by herself and audition. I understood where she was coming from…we would both help out at some capacity behind the scenes. It was going to be so much fun.
Annie auditions were a huge success for Abigail, landing a role as one of the orphans. She was so excited and we were so excited for her. Unfortunately we came into some unexpected “house issues” and made the decision that Tom would spend the time working on those while Abigail was at rehearsal every night. He didn’t try out as planned even though they were in need of guys for the ensemble. Anna and I would help out where needed but overall this was going to be Abigail’s experience and we were going to support her in every way possible. Like I said, she was excited.
Oct. 20th was her first rehearsal. Tom and the girls stopped up at the theater after rehearsal to check in with me, I was volunteering for Young Frankenstein and I was very happy to see my family. Abigail was smiles from ear to ear. Anna was also having a wonderful day with her Tom and excited that Abigail was done with rehearsal, they were going to play spies.
About week after the girls went to Heaven Tom and I laid in bed one morning and talked about connecting with the director and seeing if there was still space for us to be involved. We knew that being in the play would occupy a big chunk of our time and at that point we felt desperate to fill our day. We had no idea how we were going to make it, our lives were all about our girls and now they were gone.
I sent out an email and Darren, the director and now dear friend, accepted us with open arms. He also told us that he was dedicating the run of the show to our girls; he was just getting to know Abigail and had already seen that she was not only talented but an amazing kid.
Tom would be a part of the ensemble, having 4 different parts and I would assist Darren and help wherever needed. We would have rehearsal Monday-Thursday from 6:30-9:30 and on Sundays from 1-6; we had a plan and it felt right.
For the past month and half the theater has been a safe place for us. We go there every night and spend time with the most amazing people. The orphans remind me so much of my girls and they are all so sweet. The cast and crew are not only talented and hard working, they are now people we consider to be good friends. Parker, the dog that plays Sandy, is not only an actor but a therapy dog. He is definitely good at what he does and his little brother Reser will follow in his paw steps in becoming a comfort to many. He doesn’t know it yet but he’s already a therapy dog.
I feel an extra special connection with one woman in the ensemble. She has truly lead an amazing life. Being a foster mom for newborn infants she has given so much to so many. Truly a role model for me. She is currently waiting for a kidney due to having kidney disease. She is on the other side of organ donation. We pray for her daily as I know she is praying for us too. I am hopeful her call will come. Last night she told me she recently had a dream that she got the call during the run of the show and I had to be her understudy. I should probably start practicing her lines. I pray that it happens soon for her.
We are so proud to be part of this production in honor of our girls. Abigail’s sweater, the same one she wore for auditions, is hanging in the orphanage. Molly, one of the orphans, snuggles up to one Anna’s stuffed animals. My girls are there every night and will continue to be there. I know that if they could they would thank everyone involved for creating this loving space for us. I know, through God’s Grace, the Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow!