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Cast Party by Benjamin Mayes

We did it! The lights go out; the curtain closes on another show. Another day. Not exactly sure how to feel, but I feel happy; I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There is a tradition within the Nathan Hale Theater community that I love more than all others. Mopping the stage. Just kidding. It’s cast parties. Before I tell you why though, I first need to give some background... Ever since eighth grade, I’ve taken part in every production I could take part in: I’ve been an actor, singer, dancer, and everything in between. I’ve done plays, musicals, mixtapes, songwriting, storytelling, and stand-up routines. One thing these all have in common - the reason performing is so important to me - is because I get to perform with my favorite community.

Every time I set foot into the Performing Arts Center, I am reminded of why I love theater. I see a room full of amazing people and smiling faces. Each and every individual holds a star in their hands that shines brightly enough to be more than just seen, but to be felt. The will to learn, to react, adapt to change, embrace failure, and have each other's backs is the spirit that drives us forward... other than Mr. Roby, of course, who is literally who directs us (if you didn’t understand that joke, that’s okay, just ask me about it and I’ll personally explain it to you. With immense detail).

Our ethos in this community (or at least how I see it) is telling stories that ought to be told to people that love to hear them. The shows we’ve done recently reflect this: the story of an aimless soul, yearning to find themself; a man who finds love when his mission goes off the rails; and a murder mystery. That last one wasn’t very poetic, but it sure was funny. Our current story is THE IMAGINARY INVALID; a comedy with heartbreak told in the style of commedia dell’arte. It’s the story of a man (aka yours truly) who’s insecure about his health, longing to belong, and for that sense of adventure he once felt.

What was this blog post about again? Oh right: cast parties. I’ve met my greatest friends as a member of this community. People that in times of need, I’m here for and who are here for me. The cast party that comes with the end of every show is the chance I have to appreciate my favorite people all in one cozy home. We sit in a circle and have the time just to say, “thank you” Thanks to everyone. I appreciate you. This show was possible because of you. These great days were made even better by you. The previous cast part was one of my favorite days. I can’t wait for the next one.

We’ve made it. The lights shine on. The curtains open on a new show. Another day. Not quite sure where to go, but still, I go forward. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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