The How is So Much More Important

I wrote this essay for the 2015-16 season's program. I have decided to include it here as a reminder to our members, future and past, of our overarching goal.

-Mr. Harrington


So you are about to see an AHSTS performance. Many of you have a daughter or a son, a student or a friend, onstage that you have come to support.

AHSTS usually has around seventy students involved each year, but the shows you see usually contain about twenty performers.

If twenty or so students are on-stage, what are all the other students listed in this program doing? Perhaps you have not asked yourself that question.

I think you should.

But I will make it simple; they make the show happen.

Not to say that an actor doesn’t, but they are just a part. Other students manage the show. They help direct. They design and run the lights and sound. They create, build, and paint the sets. They play in the band. They manage the House, sell you your tickets, lead you to your seats, and sell you baked goods.

Without those students, these shows would not happen. As you may notice, I am not backstage running the show; I am along for the ride, just like everyone else. The show runs not only because the actors are making it happen. The show runs because all the other students involved are making it happen.

You may wonder how difficult it must be for these students to get up onstage to do what they are doing. Well, it is difficult, but it is just as difficult to do all the jobs everyone else offstage does.

It may also have crossed your mind that the people doing these jobs don’t get the respect that an actor does.

In AHSTS, that is not true. Those positions go quickly. They are so desirable that I have students asking me over a year in advance to consider them.  This is the direct result of the amount of respect shown towards people in those jobs.

What you are seeing onstage are not only actors, who work hard to do what they are doing. You are also seeing others who work hard to make sure the production was a success.

Theatrical Society is about students working together toward a common goal.

And this isn’t an easy task for the best of us, but just imagine seventy young men and women trying to do it. By imagining that situation, you will have greater insight into the challenges they face.

And they are successful. This is because they work hard, show leadership, take responsibility, and work to improve. They work as a team. They have high standards for themselves and for each other.

You may say that you have come to watch a show, and that is it. But this is also a school, and even though the product is what you see, the ‘how’ is, in the end, so much more important.