Wagon Wheels a Rollin' premiered in the Legacy Performing Arts Center on Friday, January 25, 2019, to a very appreciative and loud crowd. Everything went according to plan, at least that's the way it looked.
On opening day, Mr. Goodrich, the director of the play, awoke to a couple of emails from cast parents saying their kids had tested positive for the flu and ‘panic' began to set in. What would they do? Ordinarily, there would be understudies for some of the roles but that was not an option with this play. Then Mr. Goodrich remembered his wife reading her devotional the night before and the emphasis was on blessings coming to those in trials. So he calmed myself and prayed that God would help him find a solution. The roles of Straight Shooting Sam and the Judge, played by Jack Faulkner (7th) and Austin Porter (8th) would now be played by Will Hamilton (6th) and Mr. Goodrich himself (really old – self-proclaimed). Through all of the stress and panic, wouldn't you know it? God blessed us. Lots of laughs and excitement was had by all for the first-ever, Middle School production in the LPAC.
My experience in the middle school production of Wagon Wheels A-Rollin was memorable. We had some experienced actors mixed in with some people who had never been on stage before. This was exciting because it was great to see the theatre department continue to grow. There were lots of opportunities for the veteran actors to teach the new people all sorts of things, like how to memorize lines or how to be a bigger and better actor. Mr. Goodrich was very helpful and worked with us and our crazy schedules. Lots of times things happened that we could not control, like when two of our actors came down with the flu on opening night and were unable to perform. That was an adjustment for the whole cast. Shout out to Will Hamilton and Mr. Goodrich for stepping in at the last minute and saving our show. The theatre is a great way to be more connected at Legacy.
I've been a part of shows like Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, and Matilda, but nothing compares to Wagon Wheels. I had so much fun being absolutely rotten playing Sue Flay and I made a lot of friends during the show too! The cast was very talented and we had so much fun putting the show together. Mr. Goodrich was so brilliant and determined to make the show a success and never lost hope even when we had members of the cast missing due to the flu. And even though my feet hurt so bad in those heels and I had to unzip my corset backstage to get enough breath for the next scene, I wouldn't change anything. This show was truly amazing and I loved every second of it.