grace in plays


(grace as a gypsy)

I’ve been blogging about Grace since she was 7, and now here she is at 14, a freshman in High School and member of drama.  She is thriving in her new activities (she is also in writing club, and a singing group) and most evenings she does not get home from school until 6-6:30pm.

As far as Drama goes, a friend signed her up for it as a surprise, and Grace was scared.  But once she got involved and started practicing, she fell in love.  She memorized lines all summer long, and has been practicing with the cast since school started.

We were able to see both productions this weekend.  Friday night was “Babes in Toyland” and Saturday night was “The Secret Garden.”  They were performed dinner theatre style; the audience got to watch the play while being served dinner by students from other musical departments.  We were so proud of all of them.


The tables were decorated with little cards that said, “Come live our fairy tale.  Open your mind and see.  You may never return again.  Hold onto the dream.  Come with us, fly away.  Don’t look back, fly away.  Once you grow up and say farewell to the dream.”  So I was pretty much already crying before the play began.

We were served baked chicken, french fries, and corn on the cob.  Rich and I took Jacob with us, who ate far more than anyone else at table (he had come from football practice).  At one point, he accidently threw his plastic fork.  I’ve come to realize that kids of all ages do strange things, you can’t trust any of them in public.  LOL  (Rich would say the same about their mother)…….

Back to Grace.

Grace had several small parts, and it was fun to see her in the costumes.

There was a stage on both ends of the cafeteria.


(grace in blue dress, school girl; fourth from the left in front row)  This was during the song that goes “This is much too hard for me, I can’t do the sum.”


(Grace as a spider, on far left)


(Grace as an adorable, hard working Elf)

(I had to mend the skirt, she ripped out a good four inches on both seams, during rehearsal.)


(Grace as a serious soldier, second from left).



Grace was cast as Mrs. Medlock, a very stern housekeeper, with lots of lines and singing, too!


Rich and I took Ethan with us, and Grace’s church Youth Group leaders came; Seth and Jessica, along with two youth group teen boys, Ethan and Jimmy.  We had a nice table full of friends to enjoy her performance, but the sentimentality was a little much for the boys at times.

The place cards didn’t help them:  “There’s a Secret Garden within each of us.  Here is a key to help you unlock the beauty within you.   Thank you for coming to the show.  We hope you leave with love in your heart.”  This came complete with a lovely ribbon strung with a tiny key to take home.  I thought it was absolutely precious, but the teen boys?  You can imagine the fun they had with them as we waited for the play to begin.

I was thankful to be seated next to Jess, imagine being at a table full of boys/men during The Secret Garden.  LOL

Anyway, back to Grace.  She was brilliant!


(Grace as Mrs. Medlock, the mean lady!)


(discussing spoiled little Mary Lennox with maid)




(grace, right, holding flowers)


We got to the school half an hour early and still ended up at a table in the very back, I was using my zoom lens to take pictures.  Grace had many, many lines and a few solos, too, complete with choreography.  She never mentioned to us how big her part was, and I was just so thrilled for her.


She wore a whistle, and used it, too.  Made me want to get one for my refereeing motherly moments.  🙂


Taking her bow, alone.


last bows, with group


at our table, eating a cookie; happy, tired, and relieved!


What a feeling, to see a production through to the end, and experience the pride and joy of a job well done.

She has some time off for a few weeks, and then, in December she will audition for a part in “Singing in the Rain.”







19 thoughts on “grace in plays

  1. I agree with Bridgette! We need video. Grace has blossomed into such a beautiful young lady. I have loved seeing all of your children grow up. Kinda makes up for not having any of my own in some strange way. I’m so happy for Grace. There’s nothing like the ‘high’ of coming off of a performance, whether it be a play or a concert. You must be so proud. 🙂

  2. I have followed your blog for a long time but not commented. I love your humility, your faith in Christ and your sweet family. Grace seems like such a sweet soul. You are blessed with a wonderful daughter. She looks like she did a fabulous job. 🙂

  3. Thats Awesome… I would have loved to have seen it, the first play i ever saw was Much Ado about Nothing in College a few years back and since then i’ve always wanted to see another play, their is something about them, it comes to life, it is so much better then going to a Movie theater…it draws you in and makes you interested…

    Go Grace… and Good luck on your next play….

    Michael T Payne

  4. That was a great play, Grace did a wonderful job. It was the first time that I had gone to a High School play. I guess Jimmy, Ethan, and I might have been having a little fun with the “key to your secret garden”, but i think Seth did too!

    Good luck Grace in the Spring!

    Ethan W Spielman

  5. That’s so cool, Shanda! I loved seeing your daughter’s photos in the plays. It’s fun for me to read your blog and wonder what my children will be doing when they are older like your kids are.
    My husband ran sound for all the plays and events in high school and can still quote lots of lines from famous musicals on account of all that practicing 🙂 he he.

  6. I’m so happy for Grace, and for you as you get to watch her perform. What a joy as our children get older and we are privileged to witness them blossom and transform–even as part of us wants to hang on to their younger selves. Well done Grace and well done Mom!

  7. The drama bug is serious! The “malady” can last a lifetime. I have many fond memories of our high school productions and given the chance, would do it again in a heartbeat. I hope Grace’s experience is just as wonderful.

  8. Wow thats amazing!! Good for her!!! she has grown up so much and its been a pleasure to see that happen through your posts!!! Your children have a lovely childhood!!

  9. oh, so FUN!!! i love musical theater and would have enjoyed being right there at that table with you during the secret garden – i’ve never seen that as a play. i can’t imagine grace as the “mean lady” but i guess that’s why they call it acting!! ;)) singing in the rain is one of my favs – so many great songs in that. i think drama just makes our kids bloom and come out of their comfort zones in ways they wouldn’t have to otherwise – i miss the great theater group the kids were a part of in cincy.

    happy thanksgiving week ahead to you all! xo

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