Sable Lodge is a beautiful apartment building built specifically for senior citizens. Make no mistake, the people there are not disabled or dementia patients; they are simple 60 and over people, many of whom still drive and serve in any number of ways in the Portland, Maine area. When you walk in the first thing you see is an indoor koi pond alive with these colorful, Asian fish. The lobby is beautiful, and this is where I brought my seventh and eighth grade jugglers for their second show of the school year.
Sable Lodge actually has a 150 seat theatre complete with full sized stage and theatrical sound and lighting! The troupe felt like they had hit the big time for sure. After a quick but efficient set up and warm up, the audience began to arrive. Although we didn't fill all 150 seats, there was a good turn out. And the show did not disappoint.
My biggest concern was that the performers would project loudly enough. From the feedback I got, they did. Both Hannah and Shaylee have large narration parts, and they read them loudly, clearly, and with perfect timing and expression. For the first time this year, our quintet - Liam, Avery, Autumn, Shaylee and Isaiah - sang "We Gather Together". Usually they work out a song with our music teacher, but this year, because of scheduling issues, Mrs. Seavey has not been able to work with them at all. They put it together themselves, and pulled it off vwey well.
As for juggling, Alex did under the leg with balls for the first time, Andrew was spot on with the spinning plate behind his back, and Liam continues to slay three different sized balls.
The most memorable part of this show, however, may be Tim. At 95, he is one of Sable Lodge's oldest residents. He shared his memories and scrap book of when he was the gymnastics coach at Springfield College, in Massachusetts. During the off season, he trained his athletes in more circus-style acrobatics and toured the country. He had a ipcture of himself doing a handstand on a man's shoulders, who in turn was standing on another man's shoulders! For one of his rouitnes he created a parachute that was to be raised up, then descend slowly over the acrobats. It never worked for what he intended, but he ended up giving the idea to a phys ed program, and this was the invention of the PE parachute, a fixture in all elementary schools and summer camps.
I love when I can get the kids out to do shows, and I love it even more when they get an unexpected teachable moment as well. Tht is exactly what happened at Sable Lodge that afternoon.