Imagine walking into a new class on the first day and the room being flooded with sunlight and then magnified by a wall of mirrors. Not every student appreciated all of that light. Some covered their eyes it was so bright. When I met this group a couple months ago, we were a mix of shy and silly, and did not know stage left from stage right. And while not all of our students were big on speaking, when it was time to dance arms and legs did plenty of shouting.
After ten weeks the work we showcased offered a lot of talent and a lot of growth. Those eyes that were covered the first week shined brightly as they arrived each Wednesday. That shyness was masked by a willingness to be a star on stage. The lines they were given to memorize were emblazoned permanently in each mind. The glittery “Diamond of Power” in our performance worked its magic on every one of our stars.
The diamond’s powers did not stop there. Right beyond those stars on stage were theater and education students from MSU. They came each week and worked alongside our young actors, giving direction and unending support, plus, they always knew which direction to go on stage. Instead of leaving at the end of class, they lingered and discussed what more they could offer to enhance the performance.
We did not solve all the world’s problems, but for one hour a week, our students got to shine brighter than the sun that flooded our classroom and brighter than the Diamond of Power. When they left, they did not leave with just a t-shirt and a memory, they left with new talents and abilities and plenty of new dance moves. Working in concert, all of the students shined so brightly on stage that it warmed the audience.