Over the summer I was in a show with my local theater, called Crystal Theater. The show, written by the musical director, Cheryl Kemeny, was called Mother Jones and the Children’s Crusade. The show is historical fiction, based off of real people and events that occurred within that time period.
Mother Jones, or Mary Harris Jones, was a female union organizer that brought together the miners of West Virginia and the factory workers of Pennsylvania to strike against the company owners that were demanding unfair hours and little pay. She organized strikes, unions, and rallies, spoke at important events, and motivated many other companies along the east coast to follow her example and strike. Mother Jones was nicknamed the “Miner’s Angel” because of the help she brought to the mining families. There was even a song written about her!
This show was one of the best experiences in my life. I love to be on stage, acting, singing, and playing the role of someone else. Even though I didn’t get a huge part or anything major, I was in all of the musical numbers and got to play the role of a wealthy wife donating to the strike, Secretary Barnes (bearer of bad news), a striking miner’s wife, and a striking factory worker.
I don’t know about anyone else, but backstage before a show, I get so excited and worked up about being on stage. It’s different than public speaking, because public speaking is still you speaking, and people may have expectations of you. On stage of when you’re acting is a totally different story. While you may be nervous about singing or forgetting your lines on stage, the more you know the character and convince yourself that you are that person, the less scary and more fun it is. I highly recommend getting involved with the theater is some way shape or form, whether it’s school theater, a local playhouse, or just supporting the theater and going to see shows put on near you. It could be the best experience in your life!