The motto of my school’s theatre program is “Welcome Home.” The first time someone ever told me that, I didn’t quite understand the weight that that phrase carried. At the time, it meant a lot of things to a lot of people, but not to me. I was just some scared, wide eyed freshmen at her first theatre meeting. It wasn’t until now, 3 years later, that I have truly found meaning behind that motto.
To make it perfectly clear- I don’t act. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been in my fair share of musicals and community theatre shows as a kid, but who wasn’t? Even though you will never find me on stage, there was something about the energy at that very first meeting that sparked my passion for all things theatre related.
As time went on, my only reservation about being a part of this club was a fear of it becoming too cliquey. I didn’t want to settle into one group of friends and automatically shut out the rest of the people I hadn’t met yet. Thespians are a mix of a million personality types and I wanted to experience and get to know each one. I was nervous that the drama seen on stage would be just as prominent off stage. Throughout my time in Theatre Central however, I’ve noticed that this isn’t always the case.
Sure, I don’t get along with every single person I meet and sure I’ve had some falling outs with people, but regardless of any of that, this program is more then a club; it’s a community. A community of people who are ready and willing to get to know you the second you walk through the auditorium doors. A community that accepts you for who you are. A community that stands together in the face of adversity and hate and supports you no matter what the circumstance.
Theatre has given me some of the best memories I will ever have. Friendships have been forged and strengthened in the musty hallway backstage and the comfort I feel the second I am with these people is overwhelming. Old friends like Brianna and Anna have taught me strength of character. Meeting Kaylyn and Lani happened almost by accident and now we are all inseparable. Dana opened doors with me at our first fall main stage and now we have closed our last fall main stage together as friends. Daniel makes me smile everyday even when it’s 7 o’clock at a tech rehearsal and all I want to do is cry. New friends like Blake and Ethan have proven to me that it only takes a short amount of time to love someone with all of your heart. Brennan and everyone in tech have become my rocks and even when 7 and a half hours have been spent making light cues, we can all still laugh through the stress because we’re together.
For me, “Welcome Home” embodies this amazing community of people. “Welcome Home” means I have family unrelated by blood but that share just as strong of a bond. This simple two word phrase has meant so much more to me in the past week then it ever has before. Mentioned by name or not, every single person in our theatre program is important to me and I hope that everyone can find their own significance behind the words “Welcome Home.”