I was in Peter Pan in fourth grade, I’m not sure I want to do it again.

Maybe I’m misquoting but I *think* I remember Lizard Breath saying that eight years ago when YAG announced the auditions. And she *had* been in Peter Pan in fourth grade, as a pirate. But *this* Peter Pan was going to be in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, not the Haisley School cafetorium or whatever you call it. And there was going to be *flying*. So, she and Mouse auditioned. And Elizabeth became Wendy! Mouse was a Lost Boy. The GG ran the fly ropes, as it was required by Flying by Foy that parents fly their own kids. And I was the Two Cent Orchestra, playing my own compositions in the orchestra pit, which was a lot less crowded than the last time I’d had an orchestra gig in that pit.

Most of my memories about that play are dream-like. Dark, warm, humid, foggy December days much like what we have this year of Peter Pan redux. Millions of little kids running all over backstage. Parents camping out in the green room eating smelly, heavy, greasy food. One of the Peters freaking out and trashing a dressing room. Late nights. Stressssssss.

One memory stands out vividly. Everybody was stressed out and the flyers had to stay late after the play to practice their flying. Lizard was one of the older flyers, so she always went last so the little kids could get home to bed. One night it was something like 12:30 AM when Liz and the GG got home. I was up working on the play program and when I met them at the door, she was crying and white as a sheet. I thought she was sick but she was just totally, absolutely, utterly exhausted! I just shoved Orange Baby into her arms.

After that play, I ended up on the board and eventually a paid employee of the organization. I spent many, many tech weeks at the Mendelssohn and, as chaotic as it could be, I loved it all! I quit just over a year ago. We won’t go into why, in a way, it was just time.

YAG is doing Peter Pan again this December. The cast is absolutely, totally different than the last cast. Many of the kids in this cast are probably too young to even have been in a play eight years ago. But a couple of the kids from the 1998 cast are involved with this play and one of them is The Master of The Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre stage, namely Mouse. Also known as the stage manager.

We went down there for a little while last night to give Mouse some keys. It amazes me that, even though I am no longer involved and actually quit pretty abruptly, I am still welcomed by all of the current board members and volunteers. We walked straight up the stairs to the stage, opened the stage door and walked in and no one stopped us. We dropped the keys off with Mouse, then stood back in the shadows and watched the goings on. Kids acting and flying and coming in and out the stage door and lots of shushes, etc. One of the actresses even gave me a hug. I’ve moved away from YAG but I still love it and I’ll never forget all the good times. And the bad times and the hilarious times and the kee-reist times and everything else.

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