Rockaway Theater Company had been my 2nd home since I was 9 years old. This theater has seen with me through some of the best and worst times in my life. I've laughed there, cried there, fallen in and out of love there, and even been a genie. This place holds a special place in my heart.
When Sandy hit, everything happened so quickly, there was barely time to think. Everything was destroyed, nothing left untouched, even my precious theater.
I was homeless. Sure, I had a place to stay, but living in my grandmother's house with 8 people, 2 cats, and a dog was more theatrics than I had in my whole life. To say the least, this wasn't home.
A month or so later when we were finally allowed to go to the theater, this amazing place I had practically grown up in, I came to find it in pieces. Costumes, photos, props, over ten years of moments, gone.
Through the despair we still found hope. Like true theater kids, we created a story to help us clean up. It was about orphan children living in a concentration camp during a nuclear war (trust me we have plenty of pictures). Silly? Yes! Time waster? Without a doubt! It was the first time any of us had smiled in a really long time. Here we had hope; hope that things would get better.
One year later, our home is up and running! I've flown to Paris, heard a story of a magical dream coat, as well as living out my favorite Disney Classic: The Little Mermaid.
Stella Adler once said "the theatre is a spiritual and social x-ray of its time", and boy was she right. The first time I stepped back on the stage, I poured everything and left my heart on the stage. A tribute to our home town and everything we had been through the energy throughout the theater was the medicine we needed. Our finale song, Home (by Philip Philips) was the perfect thing to end a amazing show. That song was an x-ray, showing our hearts and souls.
We were back and we were stronger then ever. And after months and months, we finally could call both Rockaway and our theater company.... Home.
- Casey S.