An Ode to Closing Night

Stefanie Townsend

  • OnStage Wyoming Columnist

Closing night. It is the epitome of bittersweet emotions.

You’ve been with the show since the beginning. Or even before then, if you’re a tech or design person.

You’ve sat through rehearsals, production meetings, tech week and more. You’ve memorized the lines, you’ve sung the songs, you’ve made the props, set, and costumes your own. All the cues, all the scenes, all the good times and chemistry are now about to become nothing more than a memory.

When the show has been a part of your life for so long, it can be very hard to say goodbye. Those were your nights, your weekends. Those were your hours polishing scenes, making sure the flow was seamless and perfect. Your hours memorizing lines or taking line notes, carefully filling out rehearsal reports or pulling props. You probably can’t remember life before the show. Here you are now, about to learn what life is without it.

The end of the show is not all tears, however. Sometimes it brings a great sigh of relief, especially for students. Perhaps you miss the taste of home cooked food. Perhaps you miss sleep, or being able to finish your assignments on time, or being able to meet for group projects. And maybe it’s just growing weary of hearing the same lines and same songs over and over again, going to sleep with them still playing in your head.

Feeling relief and sorrow at the same time is perfectly normal. It’s hard to fathom that free time will soon be within your grasp again. Or, perhaps, you will move onto a new show with new people and create new bonds. But that show will one day end, too.

It’s important to be present, be in the moment, and really take in what the last show means. Don’t let your mind jump ahead and think of the future. Enjoy the last night you get with this team. This will be the last time you get to perform these scene changes, these costume changes. The last night to set the props, call for places and call the cues. The last night to wow the audience and move them and astound them.

No matter how hard it has been, how tired you are or excited you are for it to be over, take this moment to be grateful. For the lessons you have learned, the skills you gained, the friends you have made and the memories that will stay with you.

The last night may be bittersweet. But make it a good one.

Photo: Rollins College

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