I love student writers. They write and write and write and sometimes get irritated when you tell them to stop. They look like they’re going to swallow their tongue when you ask them to send you their play.
The enthusiasm of teens never fails to amaze me. I wonder if I ever had that much energy.
Sometimes they’re insanely happy to meet the playwright of the play they worked so hard on. They can’t believe you’d say hi back.
And sometimes they so desperately want to communicate something to you, and are so frustrated when they can’t figure out how to say it.
I love getting to know our customers better. This week I had lunch with the Alabama contingent of teachers. It was fun to escape and laugh and not be behind a table talking to someone. Each night of festival there are also adult receptions, a great place to be a human being and not an exhibitor.
A teacher stopped me at one of the receptions and told me she took my workshop four years ago and still uses the exercises. Another told me they are definitely going to use them this year. Another thanked me for the comments I gave her student for his Individual Event. This one means a lot to me because I try to be a constructive judge and I wonder if the time limits make me rush too much.
My favourite moment is when two girls picked up one of our short play collections, and as they were looking through the titles the first said, ‘I call dibs on The Battle of Image Versus Girl! and the second said, ‘Well then, I call dibs on Swimming with Sins.
The days are long, the fatigue can be crushing, sometimes you stand for hours with little return. But you can’t help but be buoyed by the excitement in the air, the noise of joy, the love of theatre. It’s a great thing to be a part of.