By Grace Barrett
Magic. It is something that has always been present at 105 Division Street. Throughout each production, class, workshop, and rehearsal, magic is there to guide us and add a little sparkle to each day. I felt its sensation at a young age, taking my first class in 2005. The simple act of standing center stage with my classmates filled me with great excitement about my future at the theatre.
In the twelve years since that time, I have had the good fortune to spend every summer in Harwich. Each season, I explore the different class offerings and become involved with the production of the summer shows. And for the past few years, I have been able to say with confidence that when I am on Cape Cod, I basically live at our theatre on Division Street, where the unique environment created by Betty Bobp is what continues to make our theatre a magical place. Children and adults come together to create and entertain, to work together and lea
rn from each other as equals, and to represent to the local community the power of theatre.
This past summer I was a part of the team led by Nina Schuessler, our board, and countless teachers, directors, and volunteers. In addition to my work as an intern, I was able to expe
rience the theatre’s magic by flying to Neverland, under the creative direction of Jim Byrne in his production of Peter Pan and Wendy! Playing the role of Wendy with Jacobus Kwaak as the fearless Peter Pan was an experience I will never forget! The cast, crew, and creative masterminds who brought the story to life on stage were phenomenal. I am so proud of the show that we created and grateful that the theatre provided the opportunity for us to entertain the Cape Cod summer crowds.
But the most profound moment of my summer was meeting the lovely Nancy Alexander Randall and her grandchildren. For those of you who don’t know Nancy, she played the beloved Wendy 50 years ago when the Harwich Junior Theatre was housed at the Exchange Hall in Harwich Center. As she shared her story with me, it brought tears to both our eyes. I realized then that she and I weren’t just “Wendys” — we were, and are, part of a legacy.
The ability to share the magic and memories of HJT with your loved ones is the essence of our multi-generational establishment. For this amazing legacy to continue, we all need to work together and contribute. I encourage each of you to think about your own place in the legacy of our theatre and how you can get involved by volunteering, auditioning, and telling your family and friends to become members, because your support is crucial to the future of CCTC/HJT.
The next time you enter through the doors of our theatre, and the Jester runs down the aisle, I want you to wiggle way back in your seats, and think of the memories you and your loved ones have made here– the laughter, the tears, and the hard work of generations of theatre kids are still found in every signature on the walls backstage. These signatures, the legacy of those before, inspire a new generation of actors and techies every year. With luck, I look forward to 50 years from now, when I will introduce my grandchildren to another beloved Wendy!
Grace Barrett is a high school sophomore. She has taken classes and performed in shows at CCTC/HJT for 12 years and was a summer 2017 intern.