What I Learned from Directing a Musical

December 28, 2021

What a whirlwind of a month February has been! One week ago today, Kathryn Vernon and I were finalizing prop tables, running through set-change notes, and preparing for the opening night of the youth musical- Shrek.

I could probably talk about the show for hours- but to keep it short, I'll just say- the show was a hit and I could not have been more proud. The youth worked in SO hard in preparation for Shrek. They were dedicated, positive, inclusive of one another, and absolutely amazing on stage! What a gift it was to watch them perform! 

I also would be remiss to not acknowledge how many parents were involved in the creation of this show. To those of you who volunteered to make props, to sell tickets, to help with the after party, to sell concessions, to bring snacks for the youth, and to bring Kathryn and I food when we forgot dinner- Thank you, thank you, thank you. I don't know what we would have done without you, so please know that we are endlessly grateful. 

In review, here is what I learned from directing my first musical: 

1. If you think you are an organized person, try directing a musical. It will challenge everything you know about yourself. 

2. Spray paint eats foam board- in front of your eyes. 

3. Amazon prime is a gift from the universe. 

4. A group of volunteer teenagers wearing all black can make for the most amazing, hard-working set crew I have ever known. 

5. From here on out, I plan to ask Bill Burnett to photograph ever major event in my life. See his Shrek photos here! They're amazing!

6. Mielle Walther can make anything. She's a wizard when it comes to props! 

7. One can survive on Kombucha and grocery store sushi alone. (That was pretty much all Kathryn and I consumed during show week! Woops!)

8. I may have songs from Shrek stuck in my head until the day I die. 

9. Shrek Withdrawals are a real thing. I have received text messages all week from students saying they are having "Shrek Withdrawals," and I couldn't agree more. The musical was a bonding experience like no other, and we are sad to see it over. 

10. There is almost nothing that a group of people cannot accomplish together. When Kathryn and I picked Shrek, people thought we were crazy. WE thought we were crazy! However, with countless hours of hard work from students and parents alike, we pulled it off. The show was amazing. I am still in awe.

Almost all of our Shrek photos have been uploaded online (cast photo pending). Check them out here!

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