Community fun

I dressed up on Halloween this year. I did not go to a party or greet any trick-or-treaters. While my husband was busy with the fun at our front door, I was back stage at South Arkansas Art Center practicing for my 10 minutes in the play “The Hobbit.”
If you come this Thursday, Friday or Saturday night at 7:30 I am the good looking goblin. I am not ugly like the rest. They might contest that fact with fangs, claws and rubber masks flaring, but I’m still the best looking one. And I am charmed than zapped by the elves in white tights with brilliantly colored armor advancing on the goblins While waiting for my scene, I enjoy chatting with my fellow goblins. When I’m off stage, I love to watch the star-step-sized dwarves waddle on and off the set behind Gandalf the wizard, who pompously tells the dwarves what is best for them.
My customary dignity is at a minimum for this play. As it is for the three gentlemen, dressed up in Mother Hubbards whacking each other with oversized bones.
Behind all the masks, make-up and mock stomachs are teachers, parents, school children, a locksmith, psychologist, computer analyst and a layout artist and retired soldier. We all share the experience and fun of community theater with each other and the audience.
Thursday night practices and performances have bothered me, though. I am supposed to be taking notes in my Introduction to Philosophy class. In the past, I have been a very conscientious student, but who would growl at the dwarves for five minutes if I stayed to take notes from Dr. Uth?
I have enjoyed my weekly night class at South Arkansas Community College. Certainly, it is educational. But, I also echo my classmate who think it is super to go to the mall and greet classmates. With as much moving as I did during my high school years, like the feeling of knowing someone from school when I go to town. In the past, when I attended my husband’s class reunions I could only sit back and envy their “remember when we?” comments. Through plays at the art center and classes at SouthArk and SAU in Magnolia, I have a history of shared classes, rides, notes and personal opinions about various professors and their grading systems. My communal roots have grown deeper with each experience.
A family that recently became Christians and chose to unite with our church, noticed the same thing. First, they began attending Sunday School and church regularly. Then they joined the choir and became involved with the children’s ministry, fix-up days and other activities. Both parents have commented, “We never had this many friends or so much to do in all the years we lived here.”
I know the surprise and satisfaction of that statement. It is a neat feeling, even if being in the play meant I missed most of the trick or treaters because I was dressed up as a goblin waiting to scare dwarves.