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Giving drama a boost - Jason Smith

I think I may have found a new cause, to which I can devote myself.

Oddly enough, it's also something that incorporates a number of concepts I've written about in this space in the past. My wife and I have decided to get involved in a booster club, for the drama group at the school where my brother teaches.

There are several reasons why I am looking forward to doing this, and the more I think about it, the more I am convinced this is a good thing for me to be involved in.

For one thing, it's a way for me to do what I wrote about in my last column -- get involved in the theater.

Sure, I won't be on stage, myself. I will be helping the group behind the scenes. Still, helping to raise money for the club will give me a chance to see how theater really works, so if, and when, I decide to audition for a role, I'll be a bit more prepared for the experience than I am now.

Being a part of the booster club will also enable me to pour my life into the lives of the middle-schoolers who are involved in the drama group. I want to support their endeavors, and to be a source of encouragement for them as they build their budding acting careers.

I don't have the slightest idea as to how to direct a play, as my brother does, but I can assist him in putting programs together for his productions. I can -- as I did last weekend -- help to move pieces of his sets to the backstage area when the show is over.

I could sell food at the concession stand during the intermission of a play. Even something as simple as acting goofy around the kids, and keeping them in a good mood between performances -- I figure that can serve a purpose as well.

On Saturday, my wife and I spent most of the afternoon and evening at the middle school, helping with two showings of a pair of small plays my brother directed. She served as the photographer for the production, and I basically did whatever I was asked by anyone who needed assistance.

We were both exhausted when the night was over, but it was a rewarding experience for both of us.

It has also been rewarding to watch the booster-club members who helped my brother with the play he directed over the last two weeks. They are dedicated to the drama program, and to seeing the kids grow as actors and actresses. As I watched them, I found my own dedication to the effort growing as well.

Another aspect of being in the booster club, which I am looking forward to, is the chance to spend more time with my brother. I've said many times in the past, how much I look up to him and respect him for the person he is. Those sentiments have grown, in the last couple of weeks, as I have watched him impart his passion for drama to the kids he teaches.

I want to help him, if at all possible, to build his program.

I never thought of myself as a booster-club kind of guy. But, then again, I never thought of myself, until recently, as a theater buff, either.

I do, however, support my brother. I support the students he teaches. I may not be able to do everything he can, as it relates to the theater. But, surely, I can do something.

Jason A. Smith covers crime and courts for the Henry Daily Herald. He can be reached via e-mail at jsmith@henryherald.com.