Memories of High School Theater

This past weekend my wife and I attended a reunion of my high school theater group at Fordham Prep.  We enjoyed a nice cocktail reception where we mingled with old and new friends, and as a wonderful bonus had the chance to talk to two of my favorite directors, Rev. John Leonard and Rev. Bill O'Malley.  They both still have a marvelous sense of humor and a keen memory.  Part of the evening was a performance of Damn Yankees, which was my Junior Year musical, one of the most fun shows I ever did.  I played the part of Rocky, and my friend Tom who played the role of Applegate was also there.  We enjoyed touring the backstage area before the show and seeing our young counterparts preparing for their moments in the spotlight.  Also in attendance were some other alumni who performed another version of Damn Yankees about ten years after we did -- and I remember going to see that production as well. 

I was always a fan of the performing arts and caught the entertainment bug at an early age, but it was during high school that I really embraced live theater.  I had been on stage a few times before, but during my high school years I really fell in love with it.  It was the top of the list of all the activities that took up my time during those teen years.  As much as I loved playing softball and ultimate frisbee with my friends, or going to movies and being President of my high school Film Club, or drawing comic strips for the school newspaper, or writing stories and scripts, I still enjoyed above all else being a part of the theater group.

I walked into high school as a bashful, scrawny Freshman, and I walked out a more confident, sociable young man, and much of the credit belongs to the friendships I made and the lessons I learned in the eight plays I did during those four years.  I feel very lucky to have been cast in all eight productions during my time in high school.  In addition to Damn Yankees, I was also in The Music Man, The Front Page, The Robber Bridegroom, Agatha Christie's Black Coffee, Menander's The Old Grouch, West Side Story, and Arsenic and Old Lace

It seemed like only yesterday that I was performing "You've Gotta Have Heart" or my favorite scene "(You've Gotta Think About) The Game."  Years have passed, but the memories are as fresh as ever.


Anonymous said…
I remember those shows. Glad you had a good time!