the auditorium

The Old high school. Kayla Mize Auditorium. The smell of paint, wood, old costumes…and that smell you just can’t quite put your finger on up in the catwalk. I see nails. All kinds of nails. At one point we were taught those different kinds, and which nail went in which drill, but then some of us learned we were better at painting. I see paint. Silver paint, all over the floor by the tool room, from that time Reed Ashton spilled a bucket of paint and Charlotte and I cleaned it up and Davenport never knew. I see that hole in the wall, from the one time that one kid got a little too emotional and the wall was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Wood. I see lots and lots of wood. Boards all the way from 9 to 5 being hammered to the competition set, and those same boards being pried off and recycled to the Addams set, and so on and so forth. The boards and the auditorium are alike in this way. The boards unite past shows with present ones; they blur the lines between actors of the past with those in our class, just like the auditorium blurs the line between the old high school and the new high school. The school may have switched campuses, but the theatre department never did. Theatre is the thing that unites the old and the new, memories and years alike. Tears. Lots and lots of tears. The house lights are still off, and yet so are the stage lights. In this quiet yet seemingly infinite moment, I see the realization as it breaks over my fellow seniors’ faces. Our last musical, it’s over. I can hear the sobbing, the tissues and knowing looks from those before us. Four years, come and gone. But then the hugging, and the smiling, and the laughter, and the celebration. We made it! Our time at Kayla Mize has come, and gone. But what we’ve chosen to leave behind us, the memories, the stories, the traditions, the legends, will stay there forever. What an amazing thought. the auditorium–video

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