Letter from a Theatre Director’s Dad Hits Homes
By Luis Muñoz, Theatre Director | Friday, March 30, 2012 11:14 AM
Thanks to all who participated in the zone and district contests. 1216 schools entered the contest in October. A few fell by the wayside due to eligibility and other factors. It has been an interesting time with the implementation of several new rules. Contest Managers have had to implement the time warnings and deal with the new music logs. Directors have had to work with contest managers and their casts to make sure these changes were effectively implemented. There’s been a few bumps in the road but those should be leveled for smooth sailing as we enter the second year of their use.
Those of you who have advanced to area contests do not need to do anything in the Spring Meet Entry System. If you have adds or substitutions, please follow the procedures on page 12 of the Handbook for One-Act Play, 19th ed. Make sure we get those ASAP since the state office enters the changes. PLEASE use the form found in the current handbook. If you have made changes to your play that involve standards issues, make sure that your principal sees the changes and signs a new Standards Compliance Form. We need those for our files.
The State Meet is scheduled for May 21-23, 2012, at the UT Performing Arts Center. If you or your students are interested in serving on the State Honor Crew, please fill out the application form and send it in. The forms can be found under “Resources and Forms” on our website.
A few days ago I came across a message on the UIL One-Act Play Directors Facebook page. This entry really had an impact on me and I asked David Young, theatre director at Brownwood High School, for permission to publish it here:
We are doing We All Fall Down by Barre Gonzalez. It is a drama about a medical compound near Da Nang during the latter part of the Vietnam War.
My dad knows that this week is the most stressful week of the year for me, and he was thinking about me last night and wrote this letter to my students and me, and I thought it was appropriate to share with the rest of you directors. I know everyone wants to advance and everyone wants to go to state and we are pressured by our administration to do so, but there is truth in what my father wrote. I know that amongst us, there are many diverse political thoughts and ideas, but I hope that this is universal:
In the very early hours this morning, I was thinking about your upcoming competition and was asking a blessing for you when the following thoughts came into my mind. I tried to sleep, but found I could not until I had written them.
Competitions are but brief efforts to show others the opportunities each of you and your friends and fellow students have had to grow and enrich your lives for having made the effort to learn. Your lives are gifts that allow you to experience the journey of learning and becoming. This journey is the true reward for your efforts and is always the real reason for the blessing of being alive.
The dust of time immediately settles on trophies and awards to dim their meaning, but the strength you gain by having made the attempt becomes your true reward. You are a better person today than you were yesterday and will be a better person tomorrow than you are today because each of you always, always does the best you can at any given moment and this will be true when you compete.
Your play is one of conflict and strong emotion staged in a time of great loss and great cost in human suffering. As you have practiced for your performance there are those in the world who have struggled for the very water they drink, bread they eat, and, yes, even the very breath they draw in their quest for life, happiness, survival and freedom as they understand it, just as they did during the time frame of your play, and just as they will do during your performance, for the world is, even now, in great turmoil.
I do not wish you good luck. Rather, I wish you good memories for having made this journey and hope that you will always try to be teachable which, to me, means that you will be humble and thankful that you live in a free land and enjoy the richness of blessings never before enjoyed by others. May you have clear minds, gentle spirits, and may each of you always be thankful for this marvelous gift of life.
[Signed] Woody Young, proud father and retired Master Sergeant, United States Army, who served from May 1967 – July 1988. I was fortunate not to have had to serve in Viet Nam, but I was honored to provide direct support from Thailand from 1968 to 1969 and during the Tet offensive. I’m grateful for those who gave all that they were, all that they could have been, in defense of our great nation. God bless the United States.’"