Last week’s Holderness Weekend had all of us reflecting on the trimester that has now come to a close. Last week, not only did our students compete at the highest levels on and off the field of play, but they were nice people who had fun being with each other. In fact, I don’t ever remember working at a school in my long history of being in schools and visiting other schools where the students cared so deeply about supporting each other and honoring the games and activities in which they participated.
What happens along a student's journey when they are discovering different aspects of their personality? This is one of the questions that surfaces in Proctor’s newest production of “Almost, Maine” directed by Charley Stern ‘08. In fact, Charley’s return to Proctor is also a journey of self-discovery that closely mirrors that of many of the characters in the play he directs. I would also surmise that our current students are inspired by the life lessons of their director as they zero in on creating characters in “Almost, Maine,” a play that depicts a place that is not quite a real place but an “almost” place in Maine.
The east end of the Proctor campus has been a-buzz with activity since the start of the school year. Cruising into Slocumb Hall, as many folks around campus often will on any given day, you see the usual order and light. The first thing you notice is how peaceful and still the room feels, even as students file into the space.
If you were to create a musical score for the school year, you would feel the cyclical crescendos building toward the end of each trimester. Over the past week, the beat quickened and volume intensified in the background music of our lives at Proctor as we celebrated student work and began preparations for commencement on Saturday.
From faculty and staff (and their children) playing key roles in the show to our Head of School Brian Thomas making a cameo as Shrek's father in the opening scene to a talented cast of students from all corners of campus, Proctor Drama's production of Shrek! The Musical is truly a community-wide show. After two months of rehearsals, the cast and crew take the stage for opening night on Thursday, May 19 at 7:00 PM in the Wilkins Meeting House.
After nearly two decades of working in education, you might think the cycle of a school year would feel redundant: the same calendar, same events, same games, same final exam schedule. Like a farmer who will always be challenged by unpredictable weather, the challenge of our craft lies in the ever-changing nature of the uncontrollables -- the personalities, talents, and inherent energy of the students and adults in our community who make the February 2022 version of ourselves wholly unique.
Under the direction of Jen Summers, with production support from costume design leader Joan Saunders and tech crew leader Starr Fair, this winter’s performance of She Kills Monsters is set to hit the stage with an open dress rehearsal Thursday evening before opening to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:00 PM in the Wilkins Meeting House.
On a quiet Sunday afternoon, filled with final exam preparations, we reflect on the past two days and all that transpired within our remarkable little community. Starting on Friday morning with the arrival of our Board of Trustees on campus for the first time in two years, we enjoyed a 48 hour sprint that included our final Fall Term classes, a Holderness Day pep rally in assembly, Fall Term Art Show, Dance and Jazz/Rock Ensemble performances, and a full day of competitions for Holderness Day 2021.