My director's notes for the program.
Come see The Sound of Music
on 23-24 March at North Shore High School, Glen Head, NY.
Life is a movie too…Starring you,
your whole family is the cast and crew...that's a little secret between God and you
- Stew, from the musical Passing Strange
A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.
- Lou Holtz, professional football coach
...there ain't no other way, baby: I was born this way
- Lady Gaga
No one gets to pick where she is born, to what family, how tall or talented or unlucky he will be. What each of us does with this becomes the drama of our lives. It’s a long series of trials, adventures, risks, and dangers as we try to figure out who we are.
Your life is the story of what you were born to do.
When we meet Maria, our beloved heroine in The Sound of Music, she's totally lost. She's preparing to be a nun, but it feels like a bad fit. She loves the nuns and the convent, but she feels incomplete and alone. Only when she sings on the mountain does she feel like she belongs. “I go to the hills when my heart feels lonely... [and they] fill my heart with the sound of music...” Maria uses her beloved music to turn away from confronting her fears.
Maria, fortunately, isn't allowed to hide. Her mentor, Mother Abbess, pushes Maria from the stability of the convent and into the world. Maria needs to find her place in the world. Mother Abbess knows that the most powerful enemy in the world is not the Nazis. It's the unwillingness to take important risks. She knows that we must be willing to face the fear of failure with the unending hope of finding ourselves.
Our production of The Sound of Music has a cast and crew filled with searchers. Not all of them are great test takers. They don't all do well sitting in desks all day. Some of them will probably not finish college. But these young people have a lot to give. Some are great musicians. Others can operate a professional lighting board. They can anticipate safety hazards in the dark and look out for each other. They can build a dress. They can use their voices to transport you from your long week to the mountains of Austria, take a text and turn it into something inspiring and beautiful.
Just as it takes a brave mentor like Mother Abbess to imagine what a lost child needs, it takes a brave community to imagine what a generation of children needs. North Shore is facing some tough challenges these days. In business, government, and our homes, the mountains look pretty daunting. Can we afford to hide?
We dedicate this show to the many kids in our schools who are listening to the sound of their own music: musicians, dancers, actors, builders, stagehands, seam rippers, runners, point guards, trainers, fullbacks, short stops, painters, chefs, mechanics, designers, electricians, pitchers, goalies, robot builders, poets... all of them. Because these kids were born this way.
Welcome to the third and final piece of 2011-2012, our Season of Change.