This morning we said goodbye to Springfield, MN. I knew there would be weeks that would be hard to say goodbye to our kiddos, and this week was one of those weeks.
We started off with thirty-seven kids at our audition. After watching the auditions, one of the little sisters in the audience with her mom decided it looked like fun. So, she asked her mom if she could go ahead and do it. After we had cast all of our roles, our sponsor brought the little girl up and explained the situation. We auditioned her on the spot and put her in, bringing our total to thirty-eight. On our second day, one of our girls dropped out, taking us back to thirty-seven total. We were so excited to be able fill all of our roles after only having twenty kids last week.
These kids were all so talented, dedicated, and well behaved. Throughout the week. The three girls who played our "Treasures" were constantly off by themselves practicing their number while we worked with the rest of the kids. There were days that they would ask to stay late and go through their routine a few more times with me, just to make sure they had it all down. Our "Jack" was so pumped all week, he was always helping everyone else with lines and costumes. Our older girls were great about helping us out with the little ones in their scenes, and our boys were always eager to move whatever needed moving on stage. After every rehearsal, one of our little girls would come up and wait for all the other kids to get done asking their millions of questions, just to tell us, "Thank you, for teaching us."
By Wednesday's first full run through, they were mostly off book, making Thursday a fun day for rehearsals.
After Thursday's rehearsal, the mom to three of our girls came up to make sure she knew what was happening with the next day's schedule. Just as she was leaving, she asked us if we had dinner plans. When we told her we didn't, she wasted no time inviting us to join their family for dinner. We spent the evening on their farm. We had a delicious homecooked meal, got to know the family better, the girls took us to see their horses, we set off fireworks, and we ended the night around a bonfire with s'mores. We felt so blessed to have had the opportunity to be invited into their home.
Friday, we started off with our final dress rehearsal, and then got them ready for their first show. There were a few hiccups in the show, but nothing too terrible. They were great about covering for each other's mishaps.
Saturday, Joseph and I started our day by driving over to Sleepy Eye to help out our fellow tour team on Peter Pan. Their kids did a wonderful job, and we had a great time. Afterwards, we headed back to Springfield to get our kids ready. This show was AMAZING! They nailed every scene. We were so proud of them.
After the show we had to say our goodbyes. One of the older girls came up to us, upset because this was the last Prairie Fire show she'll ever do. She's been in every production since she was seven years old, and next year she will be over the age limit. Prairie Fire had been something she looked forward to every year. She was such a blessing to us all week, and we were honored to get to be a part her last show with the company. Our Jack was so grateful for this experience. He has been in Prairie Fire shows for six years now and in every school production, but because he is small for his age, he always gets overlooked for the main roles. When we cast him as Jack, his face just lit up. He made sure we knew how much it meant to him. We said a tearful goodbye to our family that had invited us over for dinner. We received flowers, cards, and lots of candy from so many kids; but the best gifts of all were the hugs and thank you's from kids who couldn't wait to come back next year, and parents who were in awe that we had accomplished such a task in such a short amount of time. My heart was overwhelmed with how excited I was for them, and how thankful I am that God is allowing me to share my passion with kids this summer.
Next up to bat is Mankato/Madison Lake, MN...