Reflections on our 5th Mainstage Production

Audrey and Danny as Bob and Betty in “White Christmas”

As the curtain closed on “White Christmas,” our 5th Mainstage production, we celebrated all that AWIP has achieved in the past five years, and the many faces that have made the company what it is today. Our 5-year celebration will continue this year with our 5th Junior Production, “Narnia,” this spring, as well as our 4th annual Progress Show in May, which is when we honor our seniors as they move on to other stages in life.

We asked our two leads, Audrey Wilson and Daniel O’Brien, who are both seniors and have been with us for 4 years and 5 years respectively, to share their thoughts on taking their final bow last week as a member of AWIP.



From Audrey: Reflections on A Work in Progress.

Audrey Wilson as Mrs. Corry in “Mary Poppins”

When I think of A Work In Progress Productions, the first words that come to my mind are thank you. Through four mainstages, three years in Salt and Light, and years of interning, I’ve grown and changed so much. I started this theater thing as a scared, shy freshman. I didn’t know that everything I was would change in just four short years. I’ve made wonderful friends and gone through hills and valleys with them. I’ve watched friends grow and move on to bigger things, and I’m leaving friends behind that will continue to make AWIP the amazing company that it is. To my friends, you are all extraordinary. You’re all so talented and you are the ones that have made all of the little moments beautiful. 

I’ve gotten to experience the beauty of being in a cast and performing my heart out for an audience. There is nothing like being in a cast and feeling the family growing within it. I truly love all my cast mates. Thank you, cast mates. You’ve been so encouraging and wonderful. Through my years here all of you have made the experience memorable. I will miss you more than you know. Keep performing your hearts out, like you do. The audience could use a little bit of your magic and joy in their lives.

Audrey as Glinda in “The Wiz”

I’ve had the privilege to be taught by the best people I know. In so many ways, the director of this company has been a mentor and guide to me in the troubling years of high school. Jen Roca, you have built a beautiful thing. You have blessed countless people with your little, homeschool theater company. You have nurtured and taught all your students to the best of your ability, and they are better people for it. I am a better person for it. You’ve made it possible for a scared, silly freshman to become a confident, equally silly but hopeful senior who is continuing on the path of the arts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

 I’m so incredibly blessed to have spent my high school years here. AWIP has changed me for the better. The people in it have changed me for the better. I will always look back on my years at AWIP as

Audrey as a Boylon Sister in “Annie”

some of the fondest in my life. To those who will have more years with AWIP, my greatest wish for you is that you would come out of it as blessed as I have been. Take the stage. Make it yours. Make AWIP yours. Love and encourage each other as much as you can. You will be amazing. Thank you for everything. It’s been amazing.

And to Tolman. I love you, you beautiful old thing. You are the home to so many performing hearts, including mine. Goodbye for now, but I’ll be back. A little piece of my heart is hidden in your halls. I can’t stay away for too long. Hopefully those who will continue to perform on the stage will love you as I have. Thank you. 

     Love, Audrey (also known as Boylon Sister, Glinda, Mrs. Corry, and Betty Haynes)

From Danny: A Letter to The Tolman Stage

Danny as Dexter in Singin in the Rain

How do you say goodbye?

How do you move on when it’s long past the time to leave?
Why must I walk away from a home so dear, a touch so loving?
How do you say farewell to such a dear companion?
That is my curse. That is my pain. To say goodbye to the shouts and echoes.
To say goodbye to the miles of graffiti and abuse.
To say goodbye to Tolman. My friend of five years. My companion amid what feels like a thousand curtain falls.
Dear friend. Do not waste away. Do not mourn for me. You’ve given me so much. So many hours. So many memories. So many bursts of laughter. So

Danny as the Tinman in The Wiz

much pain. So much joy.

Dear friend, please don’t miss me, there’s always someone new to love. Someone who needs your touch as much as I have.
Dear friend. Please. Love them as well as you loved me. Teach them in your strange ways to love, to cherish, to laugh and cry, but beyond all this, to remember and to be no one but themselves. Teach them to laugh when they don’t want to, to cry when friends depart, but to find joy in every moment.
Dear friend. Sweet friend. I’ve taken five years. Our time is up.
Dear friend. Find a new soul to love as deeply and faithfully as you have loved me.

Danny as George Banks in Mary Poppins

Yours, sorrowfully, and joyfully:

President’s Aid
George Banks
Bob Wallace
The handful of names you’ve blessed me with. But I’m none of them. And all of them. But I’m someone you taught me to be.
Goodbye Tolman.
Until we meet again.
Always your friend,
Daniel O’Brien

All of us at AWIP look forward to honoring all of our seniors at our upcoming Progress Show in May. Each one has contributed so much, whether it be from one semester or many. And we are so grateful to all of you for your support and encouragement as we continue to celebrate our fifth year. We will see you soon!

Jennifer Roca,
for all of us at AWIP

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