I am one of the lucky people to see the Wenatchee High School production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” I have spent my life involved in theater and have traveled to London and New York to experience fantastic live theater. I have attended many, many school productions. As a director, producer, performer and designer, I am a tough critic. This Wenatchee High School production was beautifully performed by students who made me forget I wasn’t watching a professional troupe. The leading players were close to flawless in their performances, the direction and execution was exemplary, the creative energy from the vocals to the dancing to the musicianship of orchestra and chorus were inspirational.
I am writing this not so much to encourage you to buy a ticket — those of you who support arts probably already have a ticket. I am writing to ask you to thank the people you may know who have contributed to this production. The program has lists of names under production staff and backstage crew and supporters and contributors. These are the people who make live theater possible. These are the people who commit hundreds of hours to making sure this can happen. You’ll marvel at the costuming, scenery, choreography, lighting and special effects, but do you really understand what goes into making those things happen? If you know any of those people, tell them how much you appreciate this. These kids will be enriched for their entire lives from this experience. It will be something they never forget, something they will talk about for decades, and something that you as a community can be proud to have provided for them. It is a dream of mine for every community to see the value in this kind of learning and I say to the Wenatchee community, bravo!