Last week I performed in my last fall play at the high school. The Man Who Came to Dinner was a comedic farce that revolved around an injured man whose eccentric friends wreak havoc upon a family during the holidays. I think I speak on behalf of all of the senior cast members when I say this show was more than any of us could have hoped for for our final performance in the Little Theater. We had as much fun with each other backstage as we did acting in front of the audience.

After every show we have a cast party where the production staff and the underclassmen watch the seniors give out paper plate awards. These awards have a lot of sentiment behind them. I’ve always loved this tradition because the underclassmen receive awards from their favorite seniors, and the upperclassmen get to show the younger actors their appreciation for all of their hard work. Some awards like the “Oh the Places You’ll Go” Award are given to underclassmen who show a lot of promise and other awards are more comical and based on the most popular inside joke during the show. Even though they’re made hastily between quick changes and blackouts, we still put a lot of love into those plates. It’s a lot of fun at the party to watch the seniors holler over each other, eager to share the next award.

Since I began theater, I’ve seen two senior classes graduate and leave our little family. Each year we, the young underclassmen, believed that next year couldn’t possibly be enjoyable without them. The end of the year meant the loss of the mentors who guided us through the audition process and the shows themselves. Before the curtain came up, they helped us get into character so that we would have a great show. We were afraid that losing them meant that everything that we were used to would fall apart.

So when those two senior classes left, I was surprised because everything went on as it had before. The new seniors assumed the role of the old and we continued to have fun and put on great shows. Now, as I’ve finished my last fall play, I see that I’ve become more paternal toward the underclassmen. I never thought I would have feelings of pride towards the younger actors at how their talent has grown. I sound like a parent, and frankly I’m frightened that I, a 17-year-old boy, think of 30-plus actors as my kids. Nevertheless, I know these kids are going to shine in the years to come and we’re leaving this department in good hands.


Daniel Glynn is a senior at Wilton High School. He shares this column with four classmates.