So after a good long break from writing, I can sum up the end of the season.
It always creeps up. We know the week will fly by.. we can take out our stress built up over the season or at a particular event or person by smashing a hammer into a large piece of scenery. Stage backstage clears up, we can breathe - we warned people not to get lost in the huge, clear space backstage. Tears slip down cheeks during the curtain calls of each closing..and we wake up bright and early to clear out one more set, one more set of costumes and one more box of props. We erase notes in our scripts and return them - although the chunk of heart we gave to it for the summer, the soul of it, stays with us.
My crew and I had the dubious honor of putting away props and managing some madness up in props storage. This involved a lot of taking things off shelves, discovering questionable items, and putting them all back neatly onto the shelves. Okay, maybe some stuff went into the trash instead of up on a shelf...
But honestly, why would you need a bag full of pink, plastic Baskin Robbins spoons..?
Anyway. That was an interesting journey. The theatre was scoured clean, as were the dorms. People flew away to home, to school, to their next job and adventure.
I went home with the heart wrenching knowledge that this was my last season as stage manager in Bigfork. It's still a difficult choice, when I think of everything I gained every year I went back, of how I forged part of myself there, and made ties to people like tight silver cords. It hurts to go on from something like that. It's like working four seasons in one, and it's an environment that just can't be beat. The Thomsons make us their family, and the Flathead Valley is my home, so it's even closer to my heart. To think of coming back as an 'alum', the way I see others come back, and to know when I visit I'll be the girl who "was our stage manager for a couple years"... it's a little bitter. But I made the choice - it would've have just as hard to give up touring at this point in my life. I'm just now part of a circle that's been going for almost fifty years, and a very proud part for that matter.
So now all that's left to do is cherish it, and keep my experience and memories close. All the choices I've made have led me to the happiness I had there... so I know that the choice I've made now must lead me to happiness again.
Does that sound dramatic?
Well... that's our business, after all.
As for the 'hiatus' business, I'm out of theatre work until December, when the adventure will being again. I'll drop occasional reviews of plays I plan to see this fall, but otherwise, my drama soul is on a nice, long coffee break.