ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN... by Thomas Putnam
There's a new song in the stage version of MARY POPPINS that was not in the film. It comes toward the end of the show and, in effect, summarizes the nanny's whole mission in life. She directs her mission primarily to the members of a family that is falling apart. Father, mother, two kids just don't know how to connect with each other. The nanny arrives and convinces them not to get bogged down with despair or pessimism, but to re-frame the situation realizing that anything can happen.
“Anything can happen, raise the curtain. Things you thought impossible will soon seem certain...”
Eight weeks ago I fell resulting in an operation on my leg and the news was that I should expect to lead a “boring” summer, staying off my leg, in a wheel chair or at best crutches. I'm fairly active throughout the year, but late spring and summer is full of outdoor activity for me. Add to that a large scale musical...and a day camp for kids exploring theatre arts.
“Life is out there waiting, so go and get it...” Yeah, right. How the heck was I supposed to go and get it when I couldn't even drive or move any faster than a tentative creep? The realization that I simply could not accomplish most of what I had planned for the summer, and that perhaps the best route would be to cancel the camp and the musical.
“Sally forth the way we're steering. Obstacles start disappearing...” I began asking individuals for help; to take just a portion of the whole—both in terms of camp and in terms of the musical. We had already had auditions and we had a good cast in place so I really didn't want to have to miss this show, or the camp.
One by one people joined the project and took responsibility for various aspects of these two projects. One by one I realized that these people could actually fulfill that responsibility. Little by little I realized these things may actually happen. “Anything can happen...”
Camp last week was wonderful. Nearly 50 kids all singing and dancing and acting and making connections and listening and growing. Anything can happen...especially with a committed staff who put together all the pieces of the puzzle.
Last night we had our first full run-through of MARY POPPINS. It was an amazing experience. How the heck did this all happen? How did all the pieces of this puzzle fit into place?
“Though at first it may sound clownish, See the world more upside-downish...” So far it's been a summer that I would not have imagined, but it's turning out to be not so bad. Hope you can share the joy of Mary Poppins next week at Straughn Auditorium at MU. “Anything can happen...if you let it.”