Dear Editor:

It’s been three weeks since the close of the 20th Children’s Theatre production at the Port Lavaca Main Street Theatre and after several months of running on adrenaline, I’ve finally had a chance to take a breath and reflect upon this year’s milestone and give a word of thanks to so many people that helped make it a success.

You know, each year when I start down the path of the annual children’s theatre production, I do so not having everything figured out, not knowing all the details that will need to be worked out regarding casting, set design, blocking and all the other production details, but I do know that God will always surround me and put people in my path that have the talents needed to make the show a success.

This year’s 20th production - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - was no different and had God’s fingerprints all over it from start to a perfect ending on June 18. This year’s show was going to be more complicated on many levels from the shows we’ve done in recent years. I truly could not have done this show without the hard work of many people.

Most notably is Dustin Jenkins and Jay Cuellar who volunteered to build all the many components of the set. Dustin also counseled me on getting new speakers and a CD player so we could have reliable music and sound effects for the show. Sheryl Cuellar and her daughter Jacque Grissom painted all the wonderful scenery and created the various special props.

The ultimate success of any production relies heavily on a great backstage crew and God blessed us with rockstars. Dustin, Jay, Sheryl, Jamie Jenkins, Frankie Yarborough, Kyle Yarborough, and Debbie Dawdy along with PLMST children’s theatre graduates Mikayla Caughron and Melanie Smith did an awesome job, learning the backstage “choreography” in a matter of days and made it look effortless (which believe me it wasn’t).

Amanda Gonzalez and Mel Cortez led a fabulous team of so many other moms and other cast members to do all the hair and make-up. Amber Jackson was my trusty assistant and was the director for all the little Oompa Loompas and helped them do their own choreography for the poems. Her trusty assistant was Destiny Ibrom - who I don’t think knew exactly what she was getting into when she agreed to help -lol. But then I doubt most “newbies” weren’t really sure of what they were getting into either, but I’m sure glad they agreed to help. Those that have been helping me for several years ... Krystal Stringham - house/concessions/raffle; Joyce Shaefer - costumes; Erin Smith - corporate donations and the Miss Calhoun County Pageant are true blessings and I can’t thank you enough for all your Hard work. Krystal - I know the idea behind my gift that Audrey made was yours. Thank you so very much. I will treasure it always. Jax Stringham - another alumni of the children’s theatre program has helped the last couple years in the light /sound booth and has done an awesome job - making it look easy too. Thank you Jax. And Ana Alicia manned the spotlight on most shows so I could just sit back and enjoy the performances.

There are so many others that helped out in many roles in the concession stand, backstage and off-site green rooms, contributing concessions, and raffle items- and even volunteering to come run lines with the kids during the days leading up to opening night. I thank each and every one of you for your help and most particularly for sharing your children with me for the last three and a half months. I love them all even when they can be frustrating at times - lol.

I want to in particular also thank the community for all the awesome support shown the kids this year. We had amazing attendance and 10 great shows. Thank you to all that participated in the 50/50’s, bought raffle tickets or made other contributions along the way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I thank God for the many blessings he bestowed upon this process, including holding off the rain until after the much deserved cast pool party on that last Sunday night. I thank God for the talents He’s given each of us involved in some way in this show and this amazing opportunity to use those talents to bring enjoyment to our community and glory to Him. I feel so blessed to have been doing this for 20 children’s shows since 1999.

Jody Weaver