Well, it's either over or it's just beginning.
Runaway Home the Musical finished its first run today. It was a spirited performance by eleven actors I have come to love with all my heart. We hope to take it to New York's Fringe Festival, we hope to get it distributed far and wide, but I tell you the truth... if this was it, it was more than worth the time, travel, money, songwriting, track producing, vocal teaching and music directing I had the great privilege to do. (Thank you for trusting me with this music, Darren!)
My students Maria Standing Rock and her mother Esther Brown, Michelle Bunch and her husband and Kendall, my husband John and my son Peter were in the audience, which gave it the standing O. Michelle has done a lot of major theater. In her words, "This belongs on Broadway". Your mouth to God's ears, Michelle! Thanks to everyone of my friends and students who made their way to Decatur, Alabama to see this October 2006 thru February 2007 performance run. I am honored to share these memories with you.
The play benefitted greatly by the revisions made to the script and the music during the workshop performances. It was an awesome experience to see the play undergo such transformation. The actors always brought fresh fire. This last performance, I believe, was the best. What a cast.
In an emotional after-performance meeting, Darren Butler (the play's book writer and acting director) gave us all plaques with some of his journal notes during the making and workshoping of the play. Two of our precious actors spoke of how the play had changed their lives. Darren and I were presented by the cast with two stuffed teddy bears. Upon squeezing an arm, the song "Runaway Home", began to play, recorded in a bathroom by the cast at the store where they bought the bears. My bear will sit in my studio, where he will listen to students, and sing to me from time to time.
Did I cry? Duh. Yeah. I squeezed my sister's and my neice's hands (they were part of the cast) and whispered "This is why it's worth it".
Here's what I say: Sing. Write songs. Act. Make music, and every other kind of art you feel called to pursue. It is my firm belief that if we act upon our talents with all the excellence we can muster, we can trust God to make it mean something.
I'll let everyone know if and when "Runaway Home the Musical" is performed again. If you came to one of the first run workshop performances, please leave a comment by clicking on "comment" link below this post.