by Madeline Alden
This play seemed far from reality at the beginning of our senior year. It all started with a little ambition, dedication, and perseverance. Jessica Petrik originally picked out a play during the summer before school started, thinking that it would be a wonderful idea to have a spring play. Well, slowly our dream became a reality, and the group settled on a presenting Sideways Stories From Wayside School. Emma Gustafson, Noah Hubbard, Jessica Petrik, and myself sat down with Mr. Carlson one school day and discussed the logistics of how the play would work. In fact, to show how serious we were about creating this opportunity, we had more than 200 students sign a petition saying that the fine arts should be recognized, and a spring play was a good way to be recognized. The Jill Gustafson Theatre Education Memorial Fund donated money to the play to make it possible. It was run through Community Ed and was free of charge for all students that chose to join. The response was overwhelming; we had so many students wanting to participate that we were able to create two casts to give everyone time on stage. Looking back on the long struggle it took to make this possible, I can’t believe that it finally was produced. Every struggle to make it happen was worth it, though. Emma Gustafson worked with Joan and others every day in the office to make it a reality for others to enjoy. Our directors hard work all paid off, as did the cast members. In fact, there were only five seniors; many of the cast members were freshman or younger kids and were new to play productions. Honestly, this was hardly noticeable, though, because of the natural talent they all had.
Now that the play is over I realize that this was more than just putting on a production for the audience to watch. It was about a cast learning how to work together. It was about making friends and sharing laughs. I understand how cheesy that sounds, but it is the truth. Our cast has become a family. Not just any family, though, the Wayside School family. And families are never forgotten.