People who know me well know I’m not much of a crier. I’m just not. So I was surprised to find tears streaming down my face yesterday at the sold out closing performance of Les Miserables at the Memorial Opera House.
I need to point out I saw a lot of wet eyes over the run of the show. The raw emotion conveyed by the cast and crew was relatable and real, so my tears didn’t stand out in any way. My tears, however, were based on more than just the performance. My tears were based on everything that went into that amazingly beautiful show.
They were based on the fact that I live in a community that is not only dedicated to participating in the arts, but supporting the arts. The human spirit displayed by several groups took my breath away. It’s obvious by the caliber of performance that the artists put in enormous amounts of time and energy, but did you ever think of what was sacrificed to put in those hours?
Family time, hours at work, weekends with friends, SLEEP. And no one complained. They saw it as an opportunity rather than a sacrifice. The focus was on the art. The art and the other people working to put on this show. It was a place where goals focused on the common good instead of personal gain. Friendships were forged that will last lifetimes. Challenges were faced and met through camaraderie and effort. Maybe not as obvious but just as important were the efforts of the volunteers.
There were volunteer ushers, house managers, marketers, and more. These people did more than greet patrons at the door and show them to their seats. They sold candy. They carried drinks. They made and shared promotions on Facebook. They hung up posters all over town. They got on the phone and talked to people about bringing groups to the show. They picked up trash and took out the garbage. They even cleaned bathrooms. They did all of the things people don’t think about, but are essential to putting on a show.
The dedication to helping behind the scenes shown by these people was truly remarkable. And finally, the patrons. Each and every night this show was appreciated, and appreciated deeply with standing ovations, hoots, cheers and yes, tears. People took time out of their busy lives and came to the show in droves. They brought friends and family. They put aside their daily concerns and got lost in the story. They supported the arts and they lived.
We are so fortunate to live here in Porter County where value is placed on human expression and the arts. So fortunate that it brought this girl to tears. Bravo!