As I sit in the last row of the turn-of-the-century movie theater made famous in the movie “Dead Poets Society”, I’m overwhelmed with pride and admiration for all the work this cast and crew has done these last several weeks to put on “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

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And as a lifelong Peanuts fan, I’m quite confident I could jump on stage and recite these lines – and do the dance! – with absolutely no problem at all.

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Community theater is something I’ve always wanted to do. My first experiences on stage were as a kid during 14 years of dance recitals and then in junior and senior high school musicals. I think this early exposure was a sort of preventative cure for stage fright, because I’ve never had it. And happily, neither does my daughter. Oh sure, she gets a little nervous. But I’ve explained to her the difference between being nervous because you’re not prepared and being nervous because you don’t want to mess up. Her nervousness comes from the latter.

This production isn’t related to school at all, so when she auditioned she had no guarantee of getting a part. She was fortunate to be cast in a role, but really the whole process of auditioning, callbacks, stage crew training, and taking direction has been a great learning experience for her. The last several weeks have been spent painstakingly memorizing lines, blocking, songs, and stage cues. She worked hard, shed a lot of tears, and made a lot of great memories.

We sat in the front row for last night’s performance and also for the one this morning. Her cast is doing three shows and the one this afternoon is her last. She will work the remaining three shows as stage crew – a role she absolutely loves.

My one piece of advice to her was to enjoy every moment because it’s over before you know it.

Showtime is in five minutes.

I can’t wait.