I was honored to be asked to do the lobby pre-show for this production from our local community theater outfit Touchstone, one I have deep connections with, having being an ensemble member back in the 80’s.
This is a wonderful part of Touchstone’s outreach in the community, reaching creative teens and preteens artists, writers, actors and more, across the Lehigh Valley. The kids get to work with some of Touchstone’s ensemble as directors. A noble endeavor.
My small part is to engage kids and families as they make their way into the large Baker Theater. I like the fact that I was along one wall, between two bubble machines! I was asked to play from 7 to 7:30 when the show would begin. I got there early, and so started in about 6:45. Why not? I immediately engaged a young family with two older sisters and their younger brother. He was wearing shades and immediately put one of my sunglasses over his, upside down, of course. The other folks picked up on this right away. I knew this was going to be fun.
As folks gathered in the building, I motioned for other kids to join in. I even told one older teen girl to put down her cell phone and take up a maraca. She smiled, and she did, and played along, When her two friends showed up, they joined in, as well. Smiles all around. That was nice. Shoo That Fly, I Like Peanut Butter, We Gave Names to the Animals, etc. All upbeat and playable.
Things dried up about 7:25 as folks drifted in for the show. I finished with Branching Out to an empty hall. Not so, as my friend Carol Schachter walked up from her station at the entrance, and said she was singing along to the song. Sweet. Lisa, Touchstone’ managing director, mentioned toward the end that it didn’t matter if it was a throng of people or that one girl in front of me, I make connections. That was a spot-on reflection.
I packed up and headed to the parking lot to retrieve my car and then back to Fourth Street.