Letter: Arts expand horizons

February 26, 2014 

This first-time actor is grateful to music director Debi Eng for asking me to play the hippie Grandpa in The Woodstock Project at Kennewick High, 60 years after I graduated from high school.

It was a privilege working with Debi, drama director Dennis Larsen, choreographer Rebekah Mann and the gifted students. My stage granddaughter, junior Chelsea Dalsbo, an experienced actress, confidently guided me in learning my lines and how to focus on stage.

After almost every performance we received comments about how well the acting and singing on stage was coordinated with the recorded music. Folks, that was a live student band in the orchestra pit! Learning to perform to live music is a skill. It's different every time, like life. This is what education in the arts is all about. I am fearful of the future if our audiences don't understand this.

Backstage after the show, I met a father and his two daughters. The oldest asked, "When I am in high school, can I be in a show like that?" I answered "You bet." The younger asked, "In 10 years, when I am old enough, can I be in a show?" "Absolutely!" I hope our community will help keep my promise.

CHARLES EATON, Richland

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