Where do I begin?!
First of all, it was a great week for my son ... if you know me, you probably know the details of which I can't publish (at this time), so I'll move on. Just know, I couldn't be more proud to be his father. He's my favorite private acting student.
Working! What an incredible success! Probably the best show we've produced in the outdoor space in all of the years I've been involved. Which goes to show what happens when you have the right team: Ryan Tilby, Emilee France, Averill Corkin, Sierra May, and an incredible cast and crew vs. well I won't name names, let's just say ... the past.
Some would say, "Wait! You're best ticket sales were Footloose and High School Musical!" which would be correct. But if I'm really acknowledging great work then we need to remove ticket sales from the equation. Let me help you understand why:
I don't judge a production by ticket sales because they don't really mean anything. If I say I'm doing a Disney production, that name alone will sell out a house before the play has even opened. That's not quality, that's name recognition. High School Musical was one of our best selling productions, yes, but I would say it was far from our best work (which doesn't mean there weren't talented people involved ... there were just a lot of problems involved with that production that were beyond our control).
Big name shows are actually more advantageous to a company's success than you can imagine. In the professional world the joke is, if your theatre company is losing money produce Les Miserables or Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. People will show up for those regardless of quality and then leap to their feet at the end ... ugh.
We knew when we went into this production that people didn't know the name. It's tossed aside as a black box show and rarely given the attention it deserves. However, placed in the Tuacahn Outdoor Amphitheatre, the audience response was overwhelming. Yes, we were low in ticket sales, but word of mouth and return audience members showed that should we be able to run this one more weekend we'd be seeing numbers equaling or even surmounting our big sellers of the past.
And the talent! Jose Briseno, Marlie Root, Skylar Lees, Ashley Hansen, Lainee McDonald, Mandy Jaeger, Colton LeFevre, Brookelyne Peterson, and that's just some of the seniors. All of them framed by a simple set with simple costumes. I've seen so many productions masked with big sets and costumes that it's refreshing to see real actors on display without the distractions, and the audiences saw that as well.
When our students are being accepted into the best theatre program in the state (Marley Root, Skylar Lees, and numerous others from years past), and our students are being accepted into the best theatre program in the United States, some would say the world (Isabella Arras, Jose Briseno, and numerous others from years past), and our students are receiving top honors at the Utah Shakespeare Festival/Southern Utah University Shakespeare Competition, it would take complete blindness to facts to say that we're not doing something right.
This has been an incredible week for me as I have been blessed to develop and work with such incredibly giving and talented students. Thank you to everyone involved, especially the hard working parents who don't get nearly enough credit. We have the best parents on the planet helping us succeed.
This truly has been the best week ever.