The Baton Rouge area was surprised by sudden, unprecedented flooding in August. The water destroyed cars, businesses, homes, churches, schools, and our local children's theater.
Central Community Theatre was the "happy place" for over sixty pre-K through twelfth grade kids. They performed a winter and summer musical every year. The children loved seeing each other at weekly (or twice weekly) rehearsals and celebrated birthdays almost every week. Younger children admired older kids. Older kids taught and encouraged younger children. Friends of all ages found acceptance, support, and validation. They learned to work hard, keep trying, take direction, accept constructive criticism, perform in front of hundreds, and work in groups. They learned songs, lines, and choreography. They collaborated with the directors to add their own touches to every show and the results were amazing. I'll never forget driving home from my son's first acting camp and hearing him say, "Mom, the theater is the only place where I don't feel like a freak." It wasn't easy to hear, but it was clear that we were going to be a theater family.
There is no show this semester. The flood came days before fall classes began. Over a foot of smelly flood water flowed through every room. In the weeks that followed, we threw away destroyed sound equipment, office equipment, scripts, costumes, music, props, furniture, supplies., photos, and keepsakes. We tore out carpet and walls. I remember my 11 year old son and an adorable 9 year old little girl carrying buckets of flood water out. They worked so hard all day long. Many of the kids came and helped while others salvaged what they could of their own flooded homes. The building is still a terrible mess and our sweet children have been away from each other and the activity they love for far too long.
Review from #MyGivingStory