You got through high school your way, I got through high school my way.
I had done a couple of plays in eighth grade: Tish, “a screaming romp that audiences will cheer” (according to the Samuel French catalog) and good old Life With Father. I didn’t know anything about playing actions or finding moments. I just sort of leaned into the wind and took off. Well, it felt like flying, anyway.
In ninth grade, I tried out for the Viking Masquers, North Shore High’s musical comedy squad helmed by Mr. Bruce R. Mooney.
My audition piece was a lift from the remarkable Orson Bean: a rhyme-free a cappella item called “A 1959 American Folk Song”. I got laughs. I got in. Thanks, Orson.
We did a lot of stuff under the Viking Masquers’ banner—musicals, dramas, comedies, revues—as well as with Mr. Mooney’s Summer Theater Workshop. That’s where things really took root: without the distracting classes and academic pressures of high school proper, I began to see all this as more than just a good time. I felt I might be glimpsing my future.
The literal meaning of nostalgia is “the pain of remembering”. I painlessly post the text above and the pix below because they tickle me. I hope they do the same for you.
I remember all these days and nights vividly from the inside. It’s nice to have the pics to see what it looked like from without.
I’ll post more of these as I continue to rummage. And hey, I wasn’t the only one who kept his high school play pics, right? Whether or not you went professional, get ’em out and let’s have a look at ’em: post via Twitter @MJMcKean.