Tomorrow will be the first Saturday morning without rehearsal for Checkmate, our new one-act musical written and performed by twelve fantastic middle schoolers, and facilitated by Krista Eyler, Arwen White, and myself. (Badass lady boss team FTW.) 

Checkmate is a game of choice, change, and challenge. Characters are taken from their everyday lives and forced into alternate realities or times where they must make a choice, fight for change, or face a challenge. They play at the mercy of the Game Masters, but as the game unfolds our characters learn they might have to bend or break the rules if they want to survive. 

Behold our fearsome team: 


We wrote this musical over the course of two months, meeting for five hours every Saturday and Sunday morning. We started from the ground up, brainstorming for a theme, creating characters, and inventing scenes together. Throughout the entire process these kids were creative, hardworking, and most of all kind. We had no drama. They were nice to each other. They listened, offering suggestions without tearing one another apart. They played together and included one another, or respected each other's space. I couldn't have asked for a better group of young artists to work with. 

On opening/closing night Krista told our team to always "Stay Humble. Stay Kind." I couldn't agree more. Too often as we garner success it's easy to lose sight of where we've been and to remember that we're all in this together. The professionals I most admire are the ones who don't let their ego take the lead, the ones who learn my name and chat with me back stage even if we don't have a scene together and who treat every person in the room with respect, from stage hands to designers to producers. 

I'm thankful to the universe for sending me a reminder of how wonderful the artistic process can be when everyone stays humble and kind.