One of the things we, the booster club, have been doing for this musical is selling telegrams. For a dollar people can fill out a telegram for someone backstage. For an extra dollar they can add a candy bar. (We'll do anything to raise money. Those scholarships don't pay for themselves!)
It has been my job to help deliver the telegrams backstage during the second intermission. I've been around these kids quite a bit but there is something different about being backstage during the show. (I've never ventured back there before.) I finally realized what it is. There is a quiet intensity going on that is usually not evident with this group of really outgoing and loud and goofy teenagers.
I was there the night of rehearsal that the photographer took these pictures. I witnessed the directors trying to wrangle all their...energy...to just pose nicely for the camera and it was like herding cats...
...really silly and attention seeking cats who are trying hard to make everyone laugh. I felt a whole new respect for the directors and their ability to not just throw up their hands and quit trying.
The stage crew is also very busy. They are hauling heavy set pieces, working in a silent choreography, dressed all in black, getting everything in place with precision. Sometimes the telegrams are for them too. When I hand them a telegram, they pocket it and keep moving. They have a job to do.
The orchestra (and I think this is one of the best orchestras we've had) is the only relaxed group during the intermission. They are in the hall when I give them their telegrams. And they're acting like...teenagers.
After delivering the telegrams (which make the kids happy; a blip of a smile crosses their faces and then they get serious again), I go back to my seat. The lights go down and the curtains open on a stage completely transformed from the last act. The actors come out with alive faces and elaborate gestures and it is all quite stunning.