Professional Audience Member

My job as loud laugher and professional audience member for Durham Academy plays is done as a parent. Tonight I went to the winter musical, “She Love Me” where most of the actors were seniors who I have literally seen grow up. As a person with no musical talent myself I make a very appreciative audience. I am especially useful at comedy’s since I laugh loud and quickly, often starting the ripple effect of laughter throughout the theatre. Tonight at intermission I saw Thomas Benson in the lobby on crutches. He would have been on stage it it were not for his knee operation and I told him I missed him up there. He said he knew I was in the house because he could hear me in the thousand seat room. A dubious distinction.
Some of the actors have only been around since upper school but in the case of star, Lily Tendler I have watched her in productions from Kindergarten on up. I knew she was someone to keep an eye on when I created books for the school auction from the kindergarteners. I asked each child to draw a picture of what they wanted to be when they grew up and dictate a sentence about their dreams. Lily wrote that she “wanted to be on TV and in the movies because they made a lot of money.” She was the only five year old who even knew what money was then.
My favorite part of the show was when Lily and other female lead senior Ellie Dusek sang duets together. Ellie has the perfect musical voice that is able to blend with others. The show had many strong parts for boys and as always I loved Chris Villani. The ensemble cast was fun, but I wish we had more opportunities to have them on stage. I loved Liza Aldridge sitting on that boy’s lap and Libby Beirsach played the perfect December 24th shopper.
My job is done. Carter suggests that I could become a paid audience sitter, but plays in the future will not be the same when they are not cast with kids I have watched grow up and know so well.
Great job to the whole cast and crew on a very long and complicated production. The sets were beautiful, the music great and the show a success. Lily Tendler, I still like you best as a red head, although the brown wig was perfect.



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