To The Daily Sun,
It has recently come to my attention that some of the current members of the Gilford High School Performing Arts Department have decided that they want to do away with bringing back and thanking members of the alumni at the end of the final night of the seasonal play/ musical. I know many of you reading may not care either way but for those that do, and especially those who are making this decision, I wanted to shed some light on the meaning behind this tradition and why I and many others think it's important that it continues.
First and foremost, it isn't about you. The performance you have worked on and perfected to the best of your ability that happened in the hour or so before, that's for you. The 10-15 minutes (if that) at the final show is not for you. It's for those that came before you, who stepped on that stage years before and did their time. The ones who just like many of you called the Performing Arts Department (PAD) their second home, and more importantly helped get it to where it is today.
This small token of our appreciation is our way of showing that we take care of our own. And in the case of the students who are putting on the production, both actors and "techies" alike, it's how you show gratitude to all of those who came before you and did what they did so you would have your chance to create and perform. Yes they are thanking a handful of alumni on stage and many of you might see that as lame or boring because you don't know them. But think about the festivals and awards this school has won. Think about Scott and Lyvie and "Momma" and Faith and many others who have sacrificed their nights and weekends just to make these productions the best they can be so that the following year they can set the bar higher. Think about all of the students who aren't on stage at the end of the show but still put on performances and won those festivals and awards so that these amazing shows could still happen.
And lastly, I want you to think about the parents of those alumni. The parents, like my own mother, who spent years dropping off and picking us up at all kinds of hours for weeks during rehearsals. Who cooked meals and sold tickets and helped put on car washes year after year, some even after we (their kids) have graduated and moved out.
The ones who helped show the new parents the way and passed the baton down so that you could have what you have. When you look up on that stage and watch those thank yous, you have to realize that it's not just for those handful of students, it's to everyone in the audience and elsewhere who helped pave the way so you could continue Gilford High School's reputation of putting out amazing performances twice a year.
So before you decide to throw out what has been done for years and years before your time, I urge you to think beyond yourselves and use this time to thank these wonderful students, teachers, parents and volunteers for making that stage what it is today.
I do hope you continue this tradition, it would be a real shame for it to go away. And if you don't, I'm sure I will know.
There's a good chance my mother will be there cheering you on.
- Category: Letters
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