Ash and co.
"Opening Night Adventures"
It all started with a poster.
I was on my way to second period when I saw it--"Attention Students! Auditions for Spring Musical Friday!!!" Granted, I had seen musicals before, but this sounded like a step up from Pokemon dancing in frilly costumes--this was a real musical, with spoken words, costumes, sets, the whole nine yards.
I read a little farther down to where the info about the musical was displayed--this year, the drama club was putting on a fantasy called "Dalismene's Herald". Apparently Dalismene was the name of a mystical pendant said to bring happiness to those that presented it to their true love--a prince falls in love with a princess, but the only way she will be satisfied will be with any sort of rare jewel--so the prince decides to go find Dalismene, befriends a motley crew and races againt the ruthless and greedy vizir to find Dalismene first.
Now, most who know me say I am hardly a girly girl, but I can play that role when need be--I played Cinderella in the school play in third grade, but there was no sung moments there. But, I was piqued in the rest of the open roles--if I got the part of the princess, I would want Blair to play the prince.
Ash sounded perfect for the mage Felian at first, since he did like magic users in stories, and Brock was a shoo-in for the minstrel, which served as the narrator of the story. However, I couldn't think of anyone else that would fit the roles, so I continued on to class, stopping to pick up an audition packet on the way.
It sounded easy enough-read a little bit of the princess' first scene and then sing a song of your choice. Boys had to read when the prince and Felian met. Knowing Ash, he would beg to read Felian's role instead.
Once school was over and I arrived home, I paused to hang my lucky pink and white hat on the hook, allowing my hair to billow out down my neck in all its deep brown glory. "I'm home..." I announced to Mom as I strolled into the kitchen and set the audition packet on the table.
"Welcome back, Whitlea--how was school?" Mom asked as she finished mopping the floor.
"Well, it's time for the spring musical, and this year they're doing 'Dalismene's Herald'" I began as I grabbed a Nanab Berry from the counter. "So I thought I would give it a try just for kicks."
"The show about the prince looking for a magic necklace?" Mom was piqued.
"See, it's about a prince named Kieran, who is in love with a princess named Gloriana." I explained. "But Gloriana is very particular about her presents--she tells Kieran in a message that she will marry him if he can find her a rare jewel. "
"Mm-hm..." Mom nodded as she invited Nerissa, my Oshawott, into her lap.
"So Kieran goes to find Dalismene, but the court vizir is bent on marrying Gloriana himself, never mind that Gloriana doesn't love him at all..." I continued. No detail was left out--Kieran meeting Felian and a number of other adventurers, their quest to get Dalismene, Gloriana thwarting the vizir's increasingly sinister schemes, Kieran and Gloriana singing of how they have really loved each other all along now that they've seen each other in person, the vizir kidnapping Gloriana, Kieran and his friends fighting him, and the eventual happily ever after.
"Osha osha!" Nerissa smiled, clapping her paws in excitement as I concluded my synposis of the musical.
"You think I'd make a good princess?" I smiled as I opened the audition packet and read over the scene in which Gloriana first appears, before she rejects a number of potential suitors. It didn't look too hard, so if I practiced enough, Nerissa would get her wish of my playing a princess. Little did she know that if I got the part, she would have a small role to play as well.
"I'm home!" I smiled as I set my backpack by the door.
"Welcome back, Ash--how was your day?" Mom replied as she shooed Pikachu away from the ketchup on the table.
"I've decided that I'm going to try out for the school musical." I replied as I unearthed the essay prompt I needed to finish for homework and the audition packet.
"Really?" Mom gasped. "I know you enjoy playing music but I've never heard you sing that much..." Even Pikachu was surprised--the little yellow mouse was both my biggest critic and my biggest fan.
"So? I'm sure the role I want doesn't go too high..." I assured both Mom and Pikachu. Pikachu shuddered a little--he had heard me crack before when I tried to sing songs out of my range, and it did NOT sound nice.
"Well, what role do you want?" Mom asked as Mimey brought in the laundry.
"Felian, the mage that helps the prince find the pendant Dalismene." I explained as I strolled into the living room, set the audition packet on the coffee table, and begin browsing through the bookshelf nearby the piano that held most of our sheet music. Let's see here...'25th Avenue'...'Persians'...'Los Tristes'...'Meet Me in Nimbasa'...ah-ha!
"Pika?" Pikachu asked as I settled before the piano and began looking through the contents of the sheet music for "The Herald Of Dalismene".
"I'm looking for a good song to sing when I audition for the role of the mage in this musical in a few days." I explained before turning my attention to the table of contents. <i>'Let the Magic Begin' doesn't look too hard...</i> Turns out that the song fit easily within my range--the only problematic spot was a high G at the end.
Audition day came rather quickly, and it was crowded with seemingly thousands of people vying for a role, no matter how small. I just made my way over to a seat by the wings and watched people try out--softly humming all the while to warm up my voice. Plenty of girls tried out for Princess Gloriana, and those not in the mood for poofy dresses tried out for the archer Yalira or for the thief Kamanon. Whitlea tried out for Gloriana and did quite well reading, but you could tell she was nervous, and her rendition of "Mirage" showed it, stuttery notes and all.
"Nervous?" a voice asked as Whitlea returned to her seat, snapping me from watching another audition.
I looked over to see Brock--the caretaker for the breeding room and my closest friend--in the seat next to mine. "A little." I replied as I took a deep breath to quell the Beautiflies in my stomach. "Are you trying out at all?"
"You wouldn't believe how many of the students in the breeding classes were bugging me to try." Brock replied as an embarrassed smile formed on his face. "They all think I could be the minstrel that narrates the story."
"I wouldn't be surprised if you got that part." I replied. When he wasn't wrangling baby Pokemon or lecturing about Pokemon care to the school's aspiring breeders, he was entertaining the Pokemon left in his care with millions of stories and songs collected from the many adventures we had together. His storytelling prowess was celebrated throughout the school--even the "cool" kids wanted to hear him weave tales of heroes, princesses, magic, and Pokemon that spoke. But would he still have that famous calmness and poise onstage?
Thankfully, my worries were unfounded--when he was called onstage to read some minutes later, he played Prince Kieran with aplomb. His performance of "Blue Star", Loras' song from "The Song Mage Chronicles", charmed the audience--what had been chaos of people talking and Pokemon chattering came to a screeching halt as Brock played the familiar introduction on his trusty guitar. Not a peep came from the audience as he sang the familiar lyrics about an unnamed wanderer looking to a blue star for guidance--even Pikachu was falling asleep as Brock sang. There were a few spots where it was a little high for him, but he had no trouble hitting those notes.
After the applause died down, I was jolted awake by a teacher calling "Next!". My turn.
I gathered my script and sheet music and walked onto the stage, where Reiko, the drama club president, was waiting. "May I read Felian's role? I want to try out for him..."
"Okay, I'll read Kieran's role." Reiko assured me before beginning "It's been three days since I left the castle, and no sign of the house of the mage Felian anywhere!" she complained in her best impersonation of a male voice.
"Rustle rustle." a boy interjected.
"Who's there?" Reiko demanded as Kieran.
"Peace, traveler...I mean you no harm." I began, trying my best to channel someone Brock's age.
"Who are you?" Reiko asked. "Are you the great mage Felian?"
"I am the one you seek..." I calmly replied. "I know not what brings you to these woods, but it must be important."
"And then Kieran recaps the whole of the previous scene..." Reiko sighed--she had clearly read Kieran's big monologue hundreds of times and did not want to repeat it again.
"You seem to be one worthy to search for Dalismene, but it is not an easy journey--it will be filled with many trials." I read.
"Trials? I've been through many." Reiko sighed as Kieran.
"It won't be enough to tackle this quest alone." I read before seeing the signal to stopreading. We could've done the whole scene, but there were hundreds waiting their turn in the audience, and I didn't want to make them wait even more than they had.
"Now, your song?" Reiko asked as she showed me to the piano at stage left.
Once settled with my sheet music, I began the slightly jazzy introduction to "Let the Magic Begin". This being Felian's song, I kept up my singing in character as some in the audience swayed along to the lyrics. The high G was not a problem--I hit it easily and got a modest ovation for it.
I didn't stay too much longer after my audition ended, but I left feeling confident that I was at least in the running to play Felian.
"Okay...what do you guys want to hear next?" I asked the crowd of young Pokemon crowded around my feet. It was nearing the end of second period, and I was running low on material to perform.
"How did your audition for the musical go?" a voice asked, snapping me from the bored melody I had been strumming.
I looked to see Emika, the teacher of the breeding classes, looking down at me. In addition to her beautiful olive hair, she was also well known for her goofy sense of humor and her extensive collection of emerald jewelry--so much so that some of the students called her "Ruri" in private. "Well, all I had to do was read the scene when Kieran meets the mage Felian and sing a song of my choice." I replied, playing a few bars of "Blue Star" to prove my point.
"Rio?" a Riolu asked.
"The school's fixing to play a big game of dress-up soon." I explained to my audience as I readied my guitar to play again. "and they want to be sure they pick the people that will play the parts well."
"Pichu?" a Pichu asked.
"Well, usually they will just have you read a scene from the story, but they will also make you sing--and possibly dance--depending on the story." I explained. "In our case, they had everyone sing."
"The only rule is play your own accompaniment or get someone to play--the director won't play the music for you." Emika cautioned as she got her roll sheets in order.
"For example, I played guitar and sang for my audition." I explained as I played the introduction to "Blue Star".
But before I could sing, the intercom buzzing snapped me from my performance. "Attention students and staff--the cast list for the musical has been posted outside the gym..." the principal announced.
"Snivy?" a Snivy asked as he gained stars in his eyes.
"I don't know, but I'll go see if I got a part." I assured the Snivy as I set my guitar aside and started for the door, making sure to take the hall pass from the box by the entryway. "I'm going to check the list." I told Emika. "Keep an eye on the babies until I return."
"You got it." Emika replied as I disappeared down the hall.
I didn't have far to go to get to the gym--past the home ec classroom, then hang a left at a science lab to return to the main hall, then down a flight of stairs to find the entryway into the gym. A crowd had already formed at the bulletin board, each of them eagerly wondering if they had gotten a part. Those that didn't get a part at all or a role they did not want trudged away with a sigh. Those that did get a part they wanted had a little spring in their step or screamed with joy at the role they had gotten. This included a familiar "YA-HOOOOO!!!" from the crowd--Ash had apparently gotten the role of Felian and was now dancing back to the math wing.
I chuckled as I worked my way through the horde of people and studied the list--Blair and Whitlea were going to play Kieran and Gloriana, Ash was playing Felian...and I gasped when I saw my name next to "The Minstrel". While I came wanting any role at all, that was secretly the role I wanted most. I smiled as I left the crowd and started back for the classroom--I was going to have fun with the character.
"So did you get a part?" Emika asked as I returned.
"Yes, I did." I smiled as I returned the hall pass to its box.
"Chic chic tor?" a Torchic asked before I could tell Emika what role I had gotten.
"Can we have a parade to celebrate? I don't know...classes are in session." I replied as I strolled to the closet in the back of the room, where we kept costumes for dress up games and impromptu plays. Seeing my mariachi suit hanging up in the costume closet made me reconsider--it WAS Friday, and the students, the babies, and the teachers probably needed something festive to cap the week, so it was probably worth disturbing exams with a procession of dancers, instruments, ribbons, confetti, singing, and of course, me leading the way singing something in Spanish in character as my mariachi persona Señor Alegria. It was great fun for all involved, but very noisy, so we didn't have them very often. It didn't help that the babies asked to have one every day.
Emika noticed me staring longingly into the costume closet. "It's Friday, Brock--the little ones would love it, and we just had an exam yesterday."
"Okay..." I chuckled. "You did great covering for me the last time we got yelled at for 'disturbing class'." I noted as I took the suit from its hook and set it aside before addressing the babies again. "Okay, we'll have a parade." The room exploded in cheers, drowning out the bell ending second period--not just from the babies, but from those in the third period class that were just arriving--our students loved the parades as well.
Emika set three boxes before the babies. "Come up here and pick something to use in the parade." For a while, the passing out of ribbons, instruments, and balls went in an orderly fashion, until we got to deciding "who gets the triangle?" A riot nearly broke out when a Treecko, a Pichu, and an Oshawott all claimed it was their turn to have it, but a quick check of the instrument chart revealed it was the Treecko's turn, since he had gotten to play everything else at music time that week but the triangle. I made a mental note to buy more triangles that weekend as I made my way to the changing area.
Once everyone had something and the students and Emika were in costume, I told everyone "We're almost ready for a parade, but we're missing someone..." A Chikorita panicked and began doing a massive headcount to see who was missing, but when she saw that everyone was accounted for, she asked "Rita?"
"Pi pi!" the Pichu replied.
"That's right, we need someone to lead the parade." I explained. "So allow me to find our parade leader here..." This was my excuse to duck into the changing room to transform into Señor Alegria.
After throwing on my costume and making sure the sombrero and spindly mustache were on straight, I grabbed my lucky Poke Ball maracas and tapped three times on the left wall of the changing room--the signal to Emika that I was in costume and ready.
"Okay! Uno, due, tre, cuatro! Emika counted off before pressing PLAY on the mini CD player hidden in the billowy red dress she was wearing, cuing a festive samba-like melody as I danced out in all my colorful maraca shaking glory. Emika followed along behind me, shaking a tambourine to the beat. One by one, the students and Pokemon followed behind us, either dancing or playing an instrument.
Para tí, esta música es para tí... I sang as we wound down the hall.
Alegria de una samba y cha cha cha
Muévete, a este ritmo muévete
Una noche de fiesta será
Todo el mundo viene aquí
Todos quieren estar feliz
Ay, qué lindo carnaval
Esta noche vamos a gozar!
Seguimos cantado, seguimos bailando everyone else joined in.
Es un día de carnaval
Lleno de felicidad!
As we passed the administrative wing, I swore I saw the principal laughing as we paraded by--he seemed to think we held the parade because I was happy over the role I had gotten--it wasn't too often that he saw me portraying Señor Alegria. If he did, it was during Fiesta Day of Spirit Week, the cultural festival, or as a filler during the talent show. But his smile only reaffirmed that if I was going to be singing and dancing in the musical, Señor Alegria was the best way to practice.
I was on cloud nine when I found out I had gotten a part in the school musical.
See, I had come wanting to play the role of the princess, like hundreds of other girls. But in the end, Whitlea, a girl in my science class, got the part, and I wound up with the role of Yalira, a calm yet spoftspoken archer. Not that that was a bad thing--I wanted any role at all, or a place on the crew.
So there I was in English class, trying oh-so-hard to stay awake as the teachrer droned on about Bosworth's "The Ekans' Light". Now, don't ask me how or why Ekans can make light, but answering that question would've been infinitely more entertaining than speculating and debating about another so-called "classic" angstfest of a book.
Just as I was abould to lie my head down on my desk and doze (at the risk of being caught and having to write "I will not sleep in class" fifty times.) I heard someone call "Look! The breeders decided to hold a parade!"
Forget "The Ekans' Light". Most of the class was already out of their seats and at the doorway, watching and listening as the brightly colored procession of human and Pokemon approached our classroom singing Seguimos cantado, seguimos bailando, Es un día de carnaval lleno de felicidad! I stifled a giggle at who led the festive march--Brock was out in full mariachi costume, and clearly enjoying playing the role of his beloved Paradaisu persona. Emika, the teacher in charge of Pokemon breeding, followed behind him, shaking a tambourine to the beat as she swirled about in a poofy red dress.
"So, what's the occassion for the celebration?" Lucas asked as the parade wound through the English wing, each participant's costume more outlandish than the last.
"I'm not sure--either Brock got the role he wanted in the musical, or the baby Pokemon bugged him for a parade." I mused.
"Whatever the case, be sure to thank Brock later." the teacher smiled, trying oh-so-hard not to laugh at Brock's ridiculous costume. "It certainly brightened the class' mood." The only time Brock dressed up as his mariachi self besides the parades was either A. Fiesta Day on Spirit Week, B. the culture festival, or C. there was time to kill during the school talent show.
After the parade had danced past our room, we all returned to our seats renewed. But I was curious: Why had he held a parade this time?
I caught up to Brock not long after school let out. "What was the occassion for the parade?"
"Well, I wound up getting the role of the minstrel in the musical, and one of the babies suggested we celebrate with a parade." he assured me.
"No matter how many times I see you as Señor Alegria, I can't help but smile." Ash agreed as he caught up to us in the crowd of people. "What role did you get, Dawn?"
"I got the role of Yalira." I replied.
"Okay, so Brock as the minstrel, me as Felian, Blair and Whitlea as the prince and the princess, you as Yalira..." Ash mused. "Who got the part of the thief, again?"
"That was meant to be a britches role--I think May got it." Brock replied. "It's kinda cool, seeing how many in our circle got parts."
"You're right--Mom remembers Kamanon played by a girl when the musical premiered thirty years ago." I mused. "A friend of hers went to the premiere and gave her the program as a souvenir.
"Don't forget, our first official rehearsal is Monday." Ash cautioned as we approached the crosswalk leading into town.
I playfully nudged Brock. "You were a riot in yesterday's read-through."
"Thanks, I think." he smiled, a little embarrassed.
Playing the lead role in any dramatic production was the biggest surprise of my life.
Mind you, I had played a few bit parts and had occassional solos in past musicals and plays, but I was clearly not explecting to play the lead in "The Herald of Dalismene." Like my friend Whitlea, I had come wanting any part at all. But I wound up walking away with the role of Prince Kieran.
Rehearsals had gotten underway a week after tryouts with the first readthrough of the play--the one that seemed to be clearly enjoying his role was Ash--Felian was supposed to be a joyful person that never let bad times get him down, and Ash was playing that role to a tee. On the other hand, I wasn't sure how to portray Kieran--do I play up his do-or-die attitude? Or should I emphasize that even though he yearns for adventure and is very energetic, he has a sweet and caring side too?
So there I was in the wings at stage right, mulling how to best play Kieran as Reiko walked Brock through the opening monologue of Act 1. He seemed confident enough as he read the introduction and told, in song, the premise of the first scene: Prince Kieran is of age to be married, but Kieran doesn't want just any old princess. He didn't even need a mic--I could hear his voice echoing off the back wall. Brock was a master storyteller, so "enunciating to the back row" was no problem.
"All right--very nice projection." Reiko smiled before calling offstage "Okay, let's do the scene when Kieran and Felian meet."
I jogged onstage and met Reiko towards the center. "Now, walk on and say your first line, please." she began.
I walked over to stage left and said my first line of the scene. "It's been three days since I left the castle, and no sign of the house of the mage Felian anywhere!"
"Can we show a bit more frustration?" Reiko suggested. "You have been lost in the woods for three days, after all."
Maybe if I said that through gritted teeth... I mused, and repeated my line as I gritted my teeth. "It's been three days since I left the castle, and no sign of the house of the mage Felian anywhere!"
"Not frustrated enough to grit teeth, but pretty frustrated." Reiko suggested.
I took a deep breath and barked "It's been three days since I left the castle, and no sign of the house of the mage Felian anywhere!"
"Yes! That's the frustration level I'm wanting!" Reiko smiled. "Then, you hear a rustle in the bushes, so look off towards stage left, where Felian will enter from."
Brock was in a seat in the audience overlooking stage left, so he crinkled a candy wrapper to mimic rustling bushes. "Who's there?" I gasped as I whirled around to look.
"Peace, traveler..." Ash started as he emerged from stage left, but before he could say the rest of his line, Reiko motioned him offstage.
"Blair, you have the turn to look down, but Kieran is not utterly terrified when he says 'Who's there?'" Reiko said to me. "Try saying it as if you want to put on an air of confidence, but deep down, you're afraid."
"Okay..." I replied before motioning to Brock to crinkle the wrapper again. He complied, and I demanded "Who's there?"
"Better!" Reiko smiled.
"Peace, traveler...I mean you no harm." Ash assured me as he walked onstage.
"Very good, both of you." Reiko smiled. "How are you two doing on learning your songs?"
"I have 'Let the Magic Begin' down, but need to work on the 'Wind Color March.'" Ash replied before dashing to get measured for his costume.
"Aw, I was looking foward to singing that with you!" I protested. I had spent weeks parading around my room singing my part along with the soundtrack.
"Patience, Blair...you'll get to sing with me for now." Whitlea assured me as she joined me onstage.
It dawned on me that I had also worked on "I See the Light" as well. "Can Whitlea and I rehearse 'I See the Light'?" I asked Reiko.
"Sure--since we don't have an orchestra yet, we can make do with a solo guitar on this number for now." Reiko assured me as Brock got up from his seat and climbed back onto the stage.
Once I was facing Whitlea from stage right and Brock was tuned, Reiko addressed both of us. "As each of you sing your solo verse, you're walking to center stage. Remember, you're singing your thoughts, so be careful not to go too fast." With that, she motioned for Brock to play the introduction.
All those days, watching from the windows.
All those years, outside looking in. Whitlea began as she began walking to center stage.
All that time, never even knowing
Just how blind I'd been...
Now I'm here, blinking in the starlight She blinked a few times to emphasize this.
Now I'm here, suddenly I see
Standing here, it's oh so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be!
Brock gave a mighty strum to stand in for an orchestra swell as Whitlea sang the chorus. And at last I see the light, and it's like the fog has lifted
And at last I see the light, and it's like the sky is new
And it's warm and real and bright, and the world has somehow shifted.
All at once, everything looks different, now that I see you...
After playing a little bit, Brock added in some narration. "To Gloriana, the night was perfect--the moon was shining, the stars twinkling, and her true love was close by. Kieran still had his doubts as he entered the garden, but when he finally saw her smiling face, he knew she was the one." He added another strum for an orchestra swell as he changed keys to cue my entrance.
All those days, chasing down a daydream
All those years, living in a blur I sang as I began my slow walk to center stage.
All that time, never truly seeing
Things the way they were...
Now she's here, shining in the starlight
Now she's here, suddenly I know
If she's here, it's crystal clear
I'm where I'm meant to go!
And at last I see the light! Whitlea and I both sang as I took her hand.
and it's like the fog has lifted... I sang alone.
And at last I see the light, we both sang again.
and it's like the sky is new! Whitlea sang, albiet with a wavering high E flat on the word "new"
And it's warm and real and bright, and the world has somehow shifted. we continued together.
All at once, everything is different, now that I see you.
Now that I see you.
Applause rang through the auditorium at Brock's concluding flourish. "Bravo!" Ash cried as he applauded.
"Nice harmony at the end!" Reiko agreed.
"Do we have a kissing scene?" Whitlea stammered.
I checked my script. "Nope, no kissing till the very end." I assured her, making everyone laugh as she heaved a relieved sigh.
Just when it seemed that our production would go well, something had to go wrong.
I mean, not every production goes perfectly from start to finish, but with so many horrible things happening within a short time, I couldn't help but wonder if we were ever going to see opening night.
Rehearsals had kicked off wonderfully, and I got to hear Blair and Whitlea sing a beautiful rendition of "I See the Light". But then things went downhill really fast.
First the girl playing Gloriana's maid was accused of cheating on a test, then all the lights broke down, the boy playing the vizir was kicked off the cast for not having his stuff memorized in time and starting a fight in the boy's bathroom, leaving Kamon (his understudy) to learn the part in three short weeks. He didn't mind though--villians and flawed heroes were his favorite roles to play anyway.
Then Team Rocket crashed rehearsal by going after Ash's Pikachu (when will they ever learn?), and to top it all off, a huge storm rolled through the area, damaging the sets, equipment, and the stage days before we were going to rehearse with an orchestra for the first time. Now if the custodians had thought to close the windows in the backstage area that day, we wouldn't have to be there cleaning up what was left of everything the set crew had made and other junk.
Reiko had put a call out to anyone that was able to help clean the auditorium. I was in the prop room, identifying things that didn't fit anywhere else. Lyra was helping Brock check to see if the instruments were all right, Ash was leading a group in picking up odds and ends scattered through the auditorium, Dawn was helping the costume crew salvage what outfits they could, and Crystal was helping inspect the lighting and sound equipment. Kamon had already finished his job of hauling in damaged sets, and had made himself at home with an undamaged amp, playing his signature bass guitar to pass the time.
"What does this go to?" Ash asked me as he returned with a green piece of wood he and his group had found by the front row.
I carefully stepped over the wire to Kamon's amp to study a set that had a large chunk of a tree ripped out--and the piece filled in a lot of the tree. "It's a piece of a set--there's still a piece missing, though."
"Thanks!" and Ash ran to rejoin his group.
"And I was looking foward to wearing this, too." Whitlea grumbled as Dawn passed her carrying a blue gown that was dripping wet with rainwater.
"Might want to get a repairman to fix and retune this piano." Brock reported.
"It's a good thing the orchestra hadn't moved their gear in here when the storm hit." Lyra agreed.
"Yes--then we wouldn't have an orchestra." Reiko mused, making nervous giggles waft through the air.
"Besides, what ones are here have soap in them from being cleaned--and I don't think the entire brass section wants bubbles coming from their instruments on opening night." Brock joked. The room exploded in laughter at the mental image of bubbles swirling all around the auditorium as the brass section played the overture. Even Kamon was laughing as he tried to focus on the funky riff he was playing.
Ash then heard Kamon's performance. "Hey, that sounds great!"
Inspired, I began singing. Don't you feel it growin', day by day,
People, gettin' ready for the news.
Some are happy,
Some are sad
Wo, we got to let the music play!
What the people need
Is a way to make 'em smile! Whitlea joined in.
It ain't so hard to do if you know how! Dawn added as Ash found a tambourine and began banging it to the beat of Kamon's riff.
Gotta get a message
Get it on through
Oh now mama's goin' to after awhile! Lyra added the next verse.
Brock decided to add in some vocal drums as the rest of us sang Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
All the time! as we worked.
Well I know,
You know better
Everything I say
Meet me in the country for a day! I continued as I danced over to some sets and began placing missing pieces in their correct places.
We'll be happy
And we'll dance
Wo, we're gonna dance the blues away! Dawn sang as she handed off some damaged costumes to be repaired.
And if I'm feelin' good to you
And you're feelin' good to me
There ain't nothin' we can't do or say! Lyra sang as she rounded up what rhythm instruments she could find.
Wo, baby, let the music play!
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music.. we all sang as we kept working.
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
All the time!
Kamon and Ash stopped playing for a moment, but Brock subdued his beat as Crystal sang Like a lazy flowing river, surrounding castles in the sky...
And the crowd is growing bigger... Whitlea added.
List'nin' for the happy sounds
And I got to let ‘em fly!
The bass and tambourine joined back in as we continued singing Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
Wo, oh, oh, listen to the music
All the time!
We sang several more choruses of the chorus before finally ending with a final Listen to the music!
Some applause startled us--Reiko was framed in the backstage doorway! "Not bad for an impromptu performance!"
"It was May's idea!" Dawn explained.
"I just decided to sing to make working more pleasent, and it took off from there." I added.
"And now, for our next number..." Brock joked, making us giggle.
"Oh, come on, that was fun!" Whitlea protested. "Let's do another song!"
I nudged Kamon. "Do you know 'Under the Boardwalk'?
"Sure!" Kamon replied before playing the familiar introduction.
"I'll start it this time!" Ash volunteered before singing Oh, when the sun beats down and burns the tar, up on the roof..., still shaking his tambourine all the while.
What started as a boring cleanup job turned out to be a fantastic day--we ended up singing roughly nine or ten songs! But Reiko thought we needed to perform for the whole school--we're definitely singing every time we have to do a clean up!
Not long after our rehearsals got off to a grand start, did things go downhill very quickly. In between one of my co-stars accused of being kicked off due to allegations of cheating on a test, lights malfunctioning, the boy playing the vizir kicked off for starting a fight and not memorizing his lines, Team Rocket crashing rehearsals, and a huge storm rolling through within two weeks of each other, things were not looking good for our production.
When we gathered back together to attempt to rehearse a few days after our cleanup (and impromptu sing along), some clicks and an "Oh no...." came from the lighting crew's area.
"NOW what?" I sighed as I glanced over at Nerissa in a seat towards stage left--I had promised her she could come watch us rehearse, but with no lights, there could be no rehearsal.
"The lights have developed a short..." Ethan reported. "It'll be a few days before we can repair these or find spares." Groans filled the air at this.
"But how can we repair the lights when opening night is two weeks off?" Ash protested.
"Calm down, we'll just move opening night down to my second choice of a performance date." Reiko assured Ash. There was some relief at this--we would get the lost week of rehearsal made up and a little more time to rehearse in costume.
"Sha..." Nerissa sighed--she had wanted to see us rehearse so bad.
"Well, since we're all here, why don't you work your storytelling art, Mr. Minstrel?" Dawn suggested as Ethan and the rest of the lighting crew grappled with the shorts in the lights.
"Okay then...any requests, since we're probably going to be here a while?" Brock asked as Nerrisa made her way across the dimly lit stage and into my lap. There were a few emergency flashlights set up on the stage, so Nerissa could see where she was going. They wouldn't do for rehearsal--while they were bright, they couldn't move.
"Can't think of any." I sighed, stiffling a giggle at Nerissa looking starry eyed at Brock's guitar.
"Not off the top of my head." Blair agreed.
"Just tell something--it would beat sitting here bored." Dawn began.
"Very well then." Brock gave Dawn a little bow and climbed onstage, where a chair, a table, and his guitar were waiting in the flashlights' pale blue glow.
"He's taking this minstrel role seriously." Ash smiled, making Nerissa giggle as Brock played a soft melody for an introduction.
Brock thought for a moment, then told us "I have just the tale, but be warned, it might be kinda scary."
"Osha wott!" Nerissa challenged.
"Yeah, we're not scared!" May agreed.
"Okay then..." With that, Brock began. "Once a princess was traveling to another city when a great Salamence flew down and snatched her up in its great claws...."
"Osha!!!" Nerissa gasped.
"Don't worry, someone will save her in the end." I assured her.
"It turned out that Darkrai had been the one to send the Salamence..." Brock continued over a tense riff. "Once the princess was in his evil clutches, he cast a spell of paralysis and sent her away to a well hidden place. Word spread of the capture, and the king offered a handsome reward to whoever could save his daughter. Time passed, and many princes and adventurers alike attempted the dangerous quest, but none returned."
"And then?" Even Kamon was insterested in the story.
"One day, a young orphan boy--I'll call him Roshan--decided to go into the city to look for work." Brock continued. "He walked all day, until he came to a tall and crumbling tower. "He knocked on the door..." Nervous giggles came up as Brock knocked on the table's top three times to simulate someone knocking. "and when no one came, he walked inside, calling..." He then switched to a scarily accurate mimic of Ash. "Anybody home?" We all laughed at Brock's pitch perfect mimic, but Ash was more embarrassed then anything.
Nerissa listened with rapt attention as Brock told of Roshan following a fairy to a bedroom, being told to wait three days without crying out, being beaten every night, only to be healed in the morning, Roshan finding the princess and breaking the spell, and the two of them living happily ever after. While it wasn't the princess story she came to see, she enjoyed it nonetheless, and is constantly asking when she can see Brock again.
When I was asked to join the crew for the spring musical, I said sure.
I have experience working the lights for past plays and musicals, so I would train the newcomers on the lighting division of the crew on how the lights worked. It was a little shaky for the first few days, but before long, my trainees knew which gels made what colors, what emotions those colors evoked, the different positions of the lights and what they were used for, and more.
At first, things went well--even the crew was wowed by Blair and Whitlea's rendition of "I See the Light". But things went downhill fast--first a big storm roared through the area, damaging a couple of the lights. (costumes and sets were the biggest casualties, though) After getting new lights, things got worse when we tried again to rehearse a week later.
We had arrived and started to set up an hour or two before the cast arrived. Reiko was already there, making sure nothing on the reconstructed set was out of place. "How is everything up there?" she called up to us.
"All systems go!" I replied, putting a spotlight on her at center stage.
"Good." she replied before running to assist the costume crew unload some new and mended costumes.
Once the cast was all present, it was time to start rehearsal. "Okay, put Brock in the spotlight for the opening scene." Reiko instructed us.
"Roger." With that, I flicked the power switch on to the main spotlight, only to hear a pop and see a brief flash of light. "Oh no..."
"NOW what?" I heard Whitlea groan down below.
I crawled through the maze of lights to see if any of them worked, but no matter how many times I flicked the power switches, they wouldn't come on. Confused, I checked the circuit breakers--they were fine and didn't need resetting. Next, we checked the fuses, and no problem there either.
"What's the matter?" Reiko asked.
"The lights have developed a short..." I replied as we grappled with the lights. "It'll be a few days before we can repair these or find spares." The whole cast groaned as the custodians brought in emergency lights. While it was enough to light the stage a little, we couldn't really rehearse with them.
Brock decided to keep the cast entertained while we scrambled to find the cause of our mini power failure. We broke all the circuits, then I went and borrowed a volt ohmmeter from the science lab to test all the circuits.
It turned out that almost every wire had been submerged in water during the storm, shorting them out. While we did what we could to diagnose the problem, I left the actual repairing to the custodians--they knew how to fix shorts better than any of us.
All I could do is hope they could be repaired on time so opening night was not delayed.
After cast drama, stuff breaking down, Team Rocket crashing rehearsals, a major storm and the lights giving out, we thought things couldn't get any worse for our production.
Sadly, they did.
I heard the news at lunch from May--Reiko had caught the flu. Rehearsals would be going on with one of the other Drama Club members overseeing the production. Which sounded fine in theory--many of the Drama Club members were competent directors and actors. But when we heard that Senka was going to be in charge, you could've heard the groans all over the school--she was infamous for being a drama queen of a different kind.
Brock had had the misfortune of working under her before--the production of Snow White a few years ago was almost ruined thanks to her--epic dance numbers starring the Seven Dwarves that were way out of place and bullying her way into the title role were par for the course. By the time opening night came round, it barely resembled Snow White and looked more like a mishmash of fairy tales run through a blender and a bunch of pop songs thrown in for no reason.
Ash vowed that "The Herald of Dalismene" would not meet the same fate as that production. and we pledged to do what we could to keep the show going.
I was dreading rehearsal that Wednesday--just what would Senka do to ruin our production? Knowing her, she would throw all of Reiko's notes out the window and reshape the show into something more to her liking.
That was exactly what happened when we arrived Wednesday--the fantasy sets had been put away and city sets had been dragged out, Dalismene had transformed from a jeweled trinket to an old theater, and many roles had been rewritten.
I was now Kari, a theater usher. Ash had gone from Felian the mage to Illusio, the magician. Needless to say, he was not pleased about going from spell slinger to someone more likely to pull a Buneary out of a hat than throw fireballs and lightning. Blair and Whitlea became a dance team instead of a prince and princess, and May went from thief to prop boy.
Brock got the biggest switch--from a wandering minstrel to aspiring jazz musician. Needless to say, he and Senka got into a shouting match about who was really in charge. Senka argued that a musical should be about performing and so now the story was about an aspiring dance team who fights to save Dalismene the theater. Brock wasn't convinced, so he demanded what she thought was wrong with a fantasy story. Senka replied that fantasy was "for babies" and that a more modern day setting would be "cooler." The musical numbers had yet to be rewritten, but now they made no sense in the new modern setting.
Well, one of them had gotten a rewrite--"I See the Light" had become a cheesy tap dance song, much to Blair and Whitlea's chagrin.
That proved to be the last straw--Ash used the office phone to call Reiko to tell her what was going on. He spared no details and minced no words as he told Reiko in painstaking detail how Senka had turned "The Herald of Dalismene" from an epic fantasy into a cheesy Broadway show.
Reiko was irate--Senka had practically begged to help, but she had promised not to rewrite anything!
In the end, rehearsal was cenceled, Senka was barred from directing, and the real "Dalismene" was saved. But I don't think anyone will forget that crazy rehearsal.
Things continued to get worse for our production--Reiko came down with the flu, but that was tame compared to what awaited me that Wednesday.
A gasp from May met my ears as I arrived--the sets of a fantastic world had disappeared, and now sets of a city were out and being moved into place by a dull gold-haired girl--Senka, or as she was known all over school, "The Rewrite Queen." If she didn't like a piece of writing, she would rewrite it to her liking if she was allowed (and sometimes if she wasn't). I swallowed hard, fearing the worst for "Dalismene".
"WHAT?????" I heard Dawn gasp. I hurried over to stage left, where Dawn was looking agape at a new script. "Since when am I a theater usher?"
"Reiko said not to rewrite anything!" Lyra agreed.
Senka just tossed a strand of hair out of her face. "I know that..."
"Then explain why I'm now playing the role of Illusio The Great instead of Felian the Mage." Ash growled, pointing out his new role in the script. "'Dalismene is a FANTASY, not a cheesy Broadway musical!"
"Let me see that script!" I pleaded, my heart pounding. Was my role as Prince Kieran intact?
Ash gave me the script with a sigh. "Here it is, but it's not a pretty picture."
Whitlea glanced over my shoulder at the throughly rewritten script. "Oh brother..." she sighed.
"They didn't say we'd be dancing in the show, and now we've become Noir and Blanca, the dance team." I agreed as a sweatdrop of frustration appeared on my head.
"Count your blessings--I'm a prop boy, not a thief." May was just as discouraged.
"Brock isn't going to like this..." I mused as I set the rewritten script on a table where Brock could see the damage done to our production.
Sure enough, I heard his voice saying "Funny...what's a city set doing out here?" as he walked out onstage.
"The Queen of Rewrites struck again..." I explained as I gave him the script so he could see the written mayhem for himself.
An angry expression formed on his face after a few seconds, to the point where he threw the script on the ground and stormed out to find Senka, who was in the director's room about to rewrite the musical numbers. "Kindly explain why you ruined our production..." he deadpanned in that deep and low voice he only spoke in when he was mad.
"I didn't ruin it!" she protested some seconds later.
"You call rewriting everything not ruining our production?" Brock countered, trying oh-so-hard not to raise his voice.
"What's going on?" Ash asked as he and the others joined us at listening in to the discussion.
"Brock's giving Senka a little talking to." I explained. "And he might be snapping pretty soon..."
"It takes a lot for Brock to snap." Dawn agreed.
Just then, we heard Brock roar "REIKO SAID NO REWRITES!!! PERIOD!!!! WHAT PART OF THAT DIDN'T YOU UNDERSTAND????" from backstage.
"He snapped..." May mused.
"Pfft...magic and dragons are for babies--I thought the audience would like something a bit more modern and cooler." we heard Senka say--she wasn't backing down, despite Brock's yelling at her.
"Three...two...one..." I counted, waiting for a firey response from Brock.
"WE'RE NOT AIMING FOR COOL, HERE!!!!" came the explosive retort. "WHY DO YOU THINK FOLK AND FAIRY TALES HAVE SURVIVED AND FLOURISHED FOR SO LONG?????" There was an awkward silence for a minute, then Brock demanded "WELL????"
"I think that's our cue to leave..." Dawn mused. I nodded, and led everyone else out to the main hall as Brock continued to rant.
Whitlea tossed Ash a few coins. "This is for the outside call fee for the office phone."
"Thanks!" Ash replied before leading the way into the main office, where he located the phone used for outside calls by the secretary's desk, dropped the coins Whitlea gave him into the payment box, picked up the phone, and dialed Reiko's number.
Silence filled the air for a moment as Ash drummed a finger on the desk waiting for Reiko to pick up. He then began "Hi, Reiko, Ash here...we have a little problem...see, Senka's pretty much rewritten the show...yeah, despite your explicit instructions not to! Listen to what she's done..." He then aimed the phone in our direction.
"Dalismene turned from a pendant into an old theater!" I yelled.
"The prince and the princess turned into a dance team!" Whitlea added.
"I'm now an usher in said theater..." Dawn agreed.
"And I'm not a spell-slinger, but more like those magicians that pull Bunearies from hats!" Ash continued before he calmed a little. "You're coming?...are you sure you're well enough to come here?...we can go on and go?...rehearsal's canceled...okay. Thanks so much! See ya." He hung up and explained. "Reiko's coming to give Senka a piece of her mind."
"Not long after she has a piece of Brock's." Dawn smiled as we returned to the stage area, where Brock was finishing up his passionate lecture on why fantasy was still relavant today.
I poked him on the shoulder as he waited for Senka's next response. "Hate to interrupt your speech, but Reiko's on her way here to talk with Senka. We're free to go as well."
"Okay." he replied as he retrieved his guitar case. "I've said my two cents, so make of it what you will. You have some explaining to do to Reiko too." he warned Senka before leading the way out.
"What did you tell her?" Whitlea asked--we had been in the office for most of his emotional and angry lecture.
"She told me that it was pure luck that folk and fairy tales have survived this long." Brock explained. "So I told her that my storytelling shows sell out within hours, many stories today are at least influenced by them, and fantasy books still sell like hotcakes--so was any of that luck? When she said no, I explained why they do, which you guys have heard me talk about before." He let that hang. "Come on, let's go to the Cafe for a quick snack--I could use a milkshake to calm my nerves."
I found out a few days later that Senka was barred from ever helping on a production again. A fitting punishment--hopefully, she's ruined her last show for a long time.
Costume day couldn't come soon enough.
In between all that had happened to our production, I was way past ready to become Prince Kieran.
So on the day the costumes were handed out, Reiko decided to forgo rehearsal all together and give us a chance to try them on.
Dawn was already there when I arrived, modeling a green and gray tunic like outfit with leaf inlays, white leggings, and some brown boots. "What do you think?" she asked as she posed with a prop bow.
"That looks cool!" I replied as a girl arrived with a white, purple, and gold suit for me.
The costume fit perfectly, so I felt compelled to pick up a prop sword and do a few moves with it, much to the delight of Whitlea, who was now wearing a majestic blue and gold gown.
"Osha!" Whitlea's Oshawott, Nerissa, commented as I dueled my reflection in the mirror.
"Looking good, Kieran!" Whitlea agreed as May arrived modeling an orchid shirt, a navy vest with leggings to match, a red sash around her waist, and some deep blue short leggings. A navy bandanna crowned her head and some deep brown shoes completed the look.
"Hold! You aren't coming to steal my valuables?" I asked her in character.
"Peace, young prince--I only steal from those with ill gotten gains." she replied.
"Out of the ground, raze all greenery in flame! Fire!" a familiar voice commanded, startling us all.
Dawn whirled around in time to see Ash posed in a blue, green, and gold robe-like outfit with an elegant blue hat to match, his hands cupped as if he was about to toss a fireball at us at any moment. She nervously giggled at Ash's attack pose.
"I think that only works in the play." I assured Ash, who burst out laughing himself.
"You should've seen the looks on your faces!" he laughed.
Our laughter quieted as the notes of a harp filled the air, and some oohs and ahhs began wafting through the costuming area.
"Wow..." Whitlea gasped as Brock approached us clad in a beautiful red, blue, green and purple tunic-like outfit that nearly looked like a dress, playing a beautiful harp with leaf and feather inlays dotted with gems.
"I'd say you got the best costume." Ash agreed. But Brock said nothing, he was lost in his performance.
When the last note died, he said his first line. "Hail and well met to you, travelers that dwell in this grand hall."
"Allow me to take your picture, Sir Minstrel." Reiko smiled. Brock nodded and struck a regal pose, his hands on the harp strings like he was about to play a sweeping chord. Ash was next--he posed like he was casting a spell at Nerissa. Then Whitlea and I took a cute one of us holding hands. Then Dawn wanted a picture with Brock, so she posed as if listening to Brock performing.
We all loved our costumes--but Brock was the hero of the school with his--but then again, Brock could even make those boring books in English class sound cool!
Episode 11: Lyra
Music is one of my passions.
When I'm not playing it, I'm writing it or teaching others to play it. Or in the case of the school play, conduct the orchestra that's going to be playing it.
I was told all the horror stories of what happened to the production for days--it nearly getting a rewrite took the cake for me.
But things were looking up as I arrived in the practice room--today we were going to practice the interludes in between scenes where Brock narrates before we went in the auditorium a few days later to play with the cast.
A few violinists were already there, some of the percussionists were debating if a marimba was needed or not (it wasn't), and some of the trumpets were running through scales. For some reason, I like the cacophony of an orchestra tuning--it gives me a rush of excitement.
Brock was already present, and in full minstrel costume--harp and all. In fact, we didn't even bother to get the big harp out--the little one Brock had would do just fine. As I made my way to the conductor's room to get my score, I couldn't help but giggle at the entire flute section oggling over Brock.
My score in hand, I stepped up to the podium and signaled the orchestra to tune with my lucky baton. It was a running joke in the orchestra that if they were ever lost, follow the waving feather--I tie a new Pidgeot feather to it every month for good luck.
That familiar resonant A note washed over the room as the orchestra tuned, with Brock adding in a playful A chord to tell me he was tuned.
When that note died, he stood up and began his first speech (all of his lines were convieniently printed in everyone's score): "Hail and well met to you, travelers in this grand hall. It is fortunate that you have joined us here tonight to celebrate the wedding of Prince Kieran and Princess Gloriana. I have told some of the kingdom's best stories and sang the best songs--but the tale of how the prince and the princess met, and the treasure that brought them together, is a fine story in itself."
I cued the orchestra to begin the overture, a calm yet festive number that evoked a time of knights, princesses, dragons, and magic. The strings began an excited drone before the flutes started a Celtic-esque melody, with the horns adding a soft harmony. It built up from there as more of the orchestra joined in.
I didn't count on a trombone blat spoiling the flutes and the strings weaving through each other's lines midway through the piece. It turned out the second trombone had misread his cue and came in too early. Brock was stifling a giggle as he blushed, embarrassed.
We resumed playing and built the festive melody up to a grand crescendo, with the brass leading the way in all their bombastic glory, trumpet trills and all.
Reiko walked in as we began the main theme and smiled as I led the orchestra into the majestic main theme before the festive fanfare tapered off to just a few of the strings and the tubas playing a drone for Brock to play the minstrel's motif over.
"Wow! You're doing great, Lyra!" Reiko smiled. "I can't wait to hear this in the auditorium!"
If our rehearsal was any indication, neither could I.
There's an old saying in theater--bad dress rehearsal, good opening night.
If our dress rehearsal today was any indication, I hoped to Arceus that we would have a great performance.
It started out decently enough--we reported backstage at nine o'clock, got into our costumes, and waited for the arrival of the elementary school--our test audience for the dress rehearsal. I opted to tune my harp while I waited for my cue to go on. People were rushing about, looking for the one prop or last piece of a costume around me, but for a few fleeting moments, I was calm and relaxed--not unlike how I feel when I'm preparing for a storytelling gig.
"Nervous?" Ash asked as he joined me by my chair.
"A little." I replied, giving him a soft flourish as I took a deep breath to ease the few fluttering Beautiflies in my stomach. "And you?"
"Ready as I'm ever going to be." he replied as he listened to the chatter of children behind the curtain. I nodded and made my way towards stage left, where I was supposed to appear first.
The lights flashed the five minute warning, but I just took one last deep breath and told myself <i>Here we go--we've worked so hard to put on this play, and we're not letting the audience down.</i> as the children scrambled to find a seat and settle in.
Once all was quiet, I strolled onstage in a spotlight and addressed the audience. "Hail and well met to you, travelers in this grand hall. It is fortunate that you have joined us here tonight to celebrate the wedding of Prince Kieran and Princess Gloriana. I have told some of the kingdom's best stories and sang the best songs--but the tale of how the prince and the princess met, and the treasure that brought them together, is a fine story in itself." With that, my spotlight blinked off and Lyra led the orchestra into the overture.
That bought me time to retrieve my harp and adjust its tuning one last time, but before long, I heard the droning E note that signaled my return.
I walked back to the same spot, playing the minstrel's motif before singing the first interlude. Within a wondrous land so fair, a wise king ruled the people there. He had only a son, the hero of our tale. He was of age to take a bride, but wouldn't have just any girl behind the veil...
Some applause went up as I played one more flourish and made my exit, making the lights come up on the throne room set. That's where the trouble began--the boy playing the king blanked out on his lines, he was so nervous--I had to play prompter to salvage that scene. (Blair helped too--he would whisper the first few words of the king's lines while I would make a gesture that hinted at what he was supposed to say.)
The larger set pieces weren't very secure, either. Even if Blair was tiptoing across the stage, the pedestals and furniture would inch foward ever so slightly, making many of the pottery fall to the stage, making crashes punctuate many of Blair's lines.
But the kicker was another power failure--luckily, the emergency lights gave me some semblance of a spotlight, so I wove a few tales while the crew nursed the lights and cleaned up the set.
In the end, the dress rehearsal never made it past the first scene of Act 1 inbetween unsecure set pieces, the power failure, nervous cast members, and nervous musicians. The show had to go well now--we'd had the bad dress rehearsal, and we just wished for the great opening night.
Episode 13: Ash
Well, we made it--opening night went very well.
For all the trouble we went through to make it happen, I'd say the musical was a rousing success. Brock had a fan club in his own right, but the biggest ovation was when Blair and Whitlea kissed at the very end.
Would I sign up to join the musical again next year? Yes--in some ways, the problems made it just that much more fun. (especially playing the music for an impromptu sing along)
Other highlights of the show included the "I See the Light" sequence (the only time the audience applauded a number while the show was in progress), my first entrance (I don't know why they clapped for me then--cool costume, perhaps), the chase scene when Kamenon first appears (probably the most demanding scene of the whole show--we were exhausted for several days after rehearsing that scene, and of course, the final fight.
No matter what happened behind the scenes, I don't think "The Herald of Dalismene" will be forgotten among the students for a long time. (in fact, Brock actually won the respect of the jocks--he's now been affectionately nicknamed "Minstrel Man". He takes it all in stride, though)
As for me, playing Felian made me want to look into joining the drama club full time. I was a little late for joining this term, but I will be first in line when the fall membership drive gets underway.
I had a wonderful time being Felian, and everyone else enjoyed playing their roles. We won't soon forget our experience either--at least until the next play comes along!