There’s been a huge shock! Dogberry does *not* know his lines!

Say it with a British accent, please.

That there hallway is my old office. Or, I should say, one of my old offices. There was another one in the green room of the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. And one in the cafeteria of Scarlett Middle School. And the lobby of Clonlara School. And various nooks and crannies around the Ann Arbor Academy. And my kitchen counter. For six years, my office was wherever I happened to be, in and around the Planet Ann Arbor. And sometimes outside it too. Like the dining table at the cabin on Fin Family Moominbeach. Or inside that infamous rolling beastie, none other than the old Island Teal POC.

The STAC hallway there in the picture was one of my favorite offices. I spent two sweltering weeks there every summer for six years doing whatever I could do to support elaborate theatrical productions created by 70-plus young actors, ages 8-18. And their teachers. In two weeks. There’s almost nobody in the hall in this picture but you can see a little scrap of Tina’s shirt (the "8" there on the left). This summer she’s using my old “desk” as a changing table for her beautiful new baby. Wait a minute or so and one or two or three or 50 kids will come stampeding through. Those ratty looking old chairs and couches? Covered in blood, sweat, and tears. Little girls who weren’t cast as the leading lady. Sick kids. Hot, tired teachers and staff members. Administrators at the absolute ends of their ropes. Stage combat teachers with kitchen knives embedded in their feet. (Okay, that did *not* happen anywhere near the camp and we* do NOT have knives at the camp.) There was plenty of laughter too. Kids and teachers and everyone doing crazy things and frogs grokking away at the top of their lungs. And serious work, too. Learning lines, practicing scenes, working on costumes and props. Fighting with the decrepit old copy machine.

I am adjusting a lot better to cube life than I thought I would. I like my work and, of course, the pay is *much* more than a small non-profit could ever think about paying me. Unfortunately, that’s life. But I was invited to the annual YAG camp hot dog barbecue today. Beef or vegetarian option, if your child needs a more specific sandwich alternative, please provide one (fer kee-reist). We’ve* come a long way since the year no one thought to bring barbecue tongs and Jean had to turn the hot dogs with a garden trowel. I do miss the old vagabond office days. And sometimes I even miss the actors’ parents. Some of them, anyway.

*It’s been almost three years since I resigned (abruptly in the midst of an emotional crisis) from YAG and I STILL say “we” when I talk about the organization. Obviously, my heart is still in it.

2 Responses to “There’s been a huge shock! Dogberry does *not* know his lines!”

  1. mouse Says:

    I’d like to add that we do have knives but we keep them in the Snack/Laundry Room and don’t allow them near children or irresponsible adults (a.k.a. anyone who is not Jean or one of her cronies).

    More importantly, the Copy Machine of Death has been replaced. Replaced, I tell you! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rounded the corner just in time to see Sue glance furtively to the sides and begin to kick it while muttering “stupid copy machine!!”* under her breath.

    *Again, don’t forget the British accent. ;D

  2. Dog Mom Says:

    …and remember, it IS a part of you and always will be. As you are a part of YAG and all the young folks whose lives you touched. And *YES* you did resign for all the right reasons!!! Very difficult type of decision to make, but one that HAD to be made. No regrets! You still have the friends made thru the group, you’ve made organization out of chaos (*one* of your legacies to YAG)… AND Mouse is carrying on the tradition of excellence!

    You did GOOD (no British accent 😉 )