10 Ways to Survive Life in a Quarantine - May 29

John Champe HS

 End Notes 

Dear Avalon Family, 


        If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I would not see either of my spring musicals come to stage, I would have laughed out loud. You see, I am incredibly stubborn. My family commonly refers to me as "bull-headed." I don't see it as a personality flaw most of the time. It has allowed and helped me to overcome some pretty impossible obstacles during my life. So, honestly, there was nothing that could stop me from staging two musicals this spring. Well, except for a Global Pandemic. That one I didn't see coming. 

           On March 11th, 2020, we ran Act I of "The Little Mermaid" for the first time. We were using microphones, choregraphy and practice tracks. It went remarkably well for a first run in the middle of March. There were lots of things to fix, but SO much potential. I honestly left that rehearsal feeling good. As I was wrapping up the night (around 7pm), I checked my email to see if there were any fires I needed to put out before the morning and saw an email asking me to unstack the chairs in my room and put them in rows to be santitized. The email also asked us to clear our desks to be santitized. Honestly, I was annoyed. I had over 50 chairs in my classroom. All the kids were home (it's the only quiet time I get to check my email) and it was going to take me at least 30 minutes. I did it. I rushed through it and cleared my desks by just stacking all the papers in the corner and then I rushed out of the door. That morning, one of my seniors had asked me if I thought schools would close for any amount of time. My response had been: "Yes, maybe for a week to get things under control?" 

           Just a mere 24 hours later after she had asked me that question, and less than 12 hours since I unstacked all my chairs, I woke up and began my morning routine. I avoid my phone for the first hour of being awake for my own sanity. So as I was about to walk out the door, I checked my phone and saw 10 missed calls. Most of them are from my mother (a LCPS employee as well) and the other were from LCPS. I listened to that message from Wayde Bayard 2 times and then called my mother. It seemed impossible. I would spend the next 10 minutes arguing with my mother that I had to go to the school and get papers to grade. I got an email that cleared me for just a few moments in the school. I rushed there, grabbed papers, costumes, sewing kits and anything else my brain could process. It would be my last time in my classroom. Today is May 12th. It's been 2 months since I have walked into John Champe High School. My room is a time capsule. The spring countdown frozen on my desk, the costumes for the musical hanging in their assigned spots in the dressing room, and our vacant set laying on the stage. Our sandwich boards were painted and ready in a corner and the posters for both spring musicals are still in the back seat of my car. I haven't been back and it still boggles me. 

        Over the last few weeks, we have seen Broadway close their doors. We have seen quiet airports, empty schools around the nation, an empty times square and dozens of other "impossible" things. I never thought I would be excited to go to the grocery store, but here we are. But, I also think we have seen a lot of good. We're spending more time with our families. We're cooking, sharing traditions and maybe even some old fashioned wisdom. We're remembering to cherish those in our lives and I have no doubt that the hugs we will recieve from one another when this is all over are going to be legendary. 

            Our spring "show" may not be what I envisoned. It doesn't have aerial silk artists, a rotating stage, heelies, fog or that bubble backdrop we had just started making, but what it does have is irreplaceable. It has given myself and my students a place to be "normal." It's given us a place to practice our art, and to leave our current place and become someone else for a moment. It's given me smiles, a chance to check in on my students and for many,  a chance to feel like the world hasn't stopped turning. Theatre has survived thousands of years. It has surived plague, war, societal changes and philosophy criticism. Today we prove that that is still true. Theatre lives on and our physical curtains will rise again. 

     Your ticket donations will help us when the time comes to dust off that vacant set and open the curtain for the first time as a company again. We thank you for the consideration and for any help you can provide. We look forward to welcoming you into our theatre once again in the future. 


Sending you all the biggest virtual hug I can muster! 


Nicki Cabaniss, Theatre Director





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