Notes from the Fox Den

by Josie Fox

Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of the Fox Den!

I hope you all had a great two weeks and enjoyed Sarah and Larry’s columns during my little break from Notes from the Fox Den.

As some of you are aware, I am very active at the Cherokee Civic Theatre. I have appeared on stage in several productions over the past three seasons, I made my directorial debut on the main stage this last season and I am currently serving as a board member.

Well, this year I decided to add to my list of adventures with the theater and took on the role of co-director for the TnT (thespians in training) PM troupe.
TnT is a two week camp that teaches area youth all the ins and out of putting on a production. They not only have to learn lines for their showcase performance, they also learn about wigs, stage makeup, lighting, sound, stage management, props and costumes. Needless to say, it is a very busy, fast paced two weeks.

I entered the theater annex on Monday, July 16 not really knowing what to expect, full of nervous energy and ready to meet my troupe members. Although we had several meetings before hand, I had never participated in TnT in any capacity so I had no idea what to really expect.

What I hadn’t anticipated was how tired I would be at the end of each night; working a full day here at the paper plus the four action packed hours of theater camp, plus approximately two hours of commute time each day.

I also didn’t anticipate how, despite the exhaustion, incredibly fulfilling and rewarding this experience would be. During the two weeks of TnT I had the pleasure of watching 14 teenagers take mere words from a script and develope them in unique characters, put together costumes, arrange props, learn the ins and outs of stage management and pull it all together to present their audience with a stellar performance.
I went into that first day of camp excited about how much we would be able to teach them during the two weeks we were together, I came out amazed at how much I learned from them.

The last day of a production is always a bittersweet moment, but the finality of our showcase performance left me far more emotional than normal. I felt like a mother bird pushing my babies out of the nest and into the real world.

The acceptance these young men and ladies showed one another is something that all of us could learn from. Despite different backgrounds, styles and opinions, they came together as a team and as friends. I really couldn’t have asked for a better group of young men and ladies to work with.

All of the long days were worth it in the end, and I would not trade a single second of this amazing experience.

To my co-director Serena Bemis, thank you for encouraging me to embark on this journey with you. I’m still trying to figure out how you rooked me into agreeing to direct, but I am so very glad that you did.

To my troupe counselor Amy McCalister, what a boring life it would be without you, thank you for all the fits of laughter and tears of joy. Thank you for not only helping me feel like part of the theater family, but also your family.

To the absolute best producer and guide, Judy Faye Garner, thank you for everything you did to ensure we had what we needed and for the advice given over the last two weeks.

To my troupe--Ethan, Abigail, Rami, Nicholas, Michael, Jonathan, Mya, Madeline, Kevin, Zoey, Karmyn, Sage, Nathan and Tristin, thank you for a wonderful two weeks and for all the hard work you put in to ensure our Showcase performance was amazing. Thank you for the funny moments. Thank you for being you. I hope you each continue to be a part of the theatre and perfect your craft. You are an absolute joy to be around and I will miss you all.

To the directors, volunteers, counselors and all those who worked so diligently behind the scenes, there are not enough words to properly thank you for all that you do each year to provide a fun and safe environment for kids to learn about theater.

I feel very fortunate to live in a community that has an active theatre and gives young thespians an opportunity to learn about the wonderful world on stage.

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. ~Oscar Wilde