I walked gingerly onto the stage wearing black leggings and an oversized green blouse. Pink frosty lipstick. I carried a purse daintily over my shoulder. Stepping over splintered pieces of wood and kicking up sawdust with my ballet flats, I had arrived. September, 1992. Day one on the job at the Wheelock Family Theatre. I looked like a fish on a bicycle out on that stage but they put me right to work. "You can start by pulling nails out of those 2x4s." I did it. I did it even though I really didn't want to because I already knew, within those first moments, that this place had something I wanted.
This is not an uncommon story. You can ask any of the "veterans." The kids who have taken classes, the actors, the teems of work-study students over the years, kids who got their first taste of live theatre in our seats. The dates and players might be different, but the message is the same: The Wheelock Family Theatre changed my life.
I made my best friends at the theatre. I met all kinds of people. I became part of something important. I chose my major because of that work-study job and I have made some of the best memories of my life. Sweeping that stage, setting props in those wings, running the spot up in that light booth, ticketing patrons back in that office, meeting the intermission rush behind that concession stand, and audio describing shows up on that third balcony.
WFT is a part of me, which is why I am delighted to blog on its behalf. I have big plans. Interviews and photos and anecdotes (oh my!) that will hopefully draw you all in to the giant, warm hug that is "the Theatre."
Thanks for reading.
-Robin Fradkin Matthews