Windows & Mirrors

In the summer of 1983, I was seven years old. My brother was 17. He had the role of Uncle Henry in Trollwood Performing Arts School (TPAS)’s production of The Wizard of Oz. I have few memories of that summer, but from what I’ve been told, I laid some bricks in the upper right corner of the letter “Z” in the yellow brick road shaped to spell “Oz.” Six years later, in 1989, I attended TPAS on my own as a legitimate student. That was the summer after my seventh grade in Moorhead (MN) Public Schools. Trollwood was a program of Fargo (ND) Public Schools, so I was among a lot of new kids in June and July. And I was among students from Russia and China, as well. Trollwood started a new program that summer: IMAGINE. I played cello in the orchestra pit for that summer’s production of The Sound of Music. I sat next to a Russian playing the balalaika. The next summer, I split my time between the orchestra and the lighting crew for Peter Pan. In the following years, I was on the lighting crew for Music Man, Oklahoma!, Anything Goes, and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I watched actors perform year after year, but participated in “Songs from the Catwalk” with my fellow lighting techies.

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