To the Valley News:
Today as I observed play rehearsal for The Elizabethtown Social Center’s Spring production, I was reminded of a letter I wrote to the community last Spring. The purpose of that letter, and this re-write, it to remind our communities how lucky we are to have the leaders we do in drama, sports, music and the like. We all talk among ourselves about how important it is that our kids have a place to go after school, but only a few do something about it. Today, as I watched the gang rehearse for “Bells Are Ringing,” I was very impressed by how a production like this just simply brings out the best in everyone. I saw school kids who are extremely shy or quiet in class have the courage to get on that stage, dress up, sing and dance. It also brought to mind that the process is what really matters here, almost more than the end product.
This is the season around our area when our schools will all be presenting their plays. Do two things. One, attend. Second, watch very closely for the determination on the faces of both the lead performers and especially the secondary parts, the chorus, the kids who may not have the experience or confidence to take the lead part. It is very heart warming to watch how determined they are to do a great job. It will remind you that these performances are all about the process; all about reaching down inside to find that self confidence to remember the lines and deliver them as best as possible. Funny thing, we often refer to these programs as “extra-curricular.” I suggest that there is nothing “extra” about what one takes away from this experience. Developing this kind of positive self-esteem is far from extra, it is at the very core of human development.
Grand applause is due to the professionals who lead these activities: the directors, the music directors, dance, costume design and wonderful musicians. These folks could just as easily go home after a day’s work and relax or rake their yards. Instead they give their most valued gifts of time, friendship and confidence to a group of young people who also could just go home after school and “veg. out” as they say. As for that end product, the play itself, you create stars and starlets. You make our kids feel very special. You make a huge difference in their lives and we in your community thank you for your dedication.
Molly Kasriels, Westport