The view from the cheap seats

While he's on stage rehearsing, I'm still painting and touching-up sets and helping to transform a rented hall into a "world of pure imagination."

Candy cart 
I am completely content to sit back here and do what I do to make all of them look good. 

To pull off this (or any) production it takes an amazing group of people. 

And if you were to look up "amazing group of people" in the dictionary, surely you would find our particular group of Homeschooling Parents right up there on the first page.

Set painters and seamstresses. Lighting directors and song coaches. Stage managers and prop masters.

In between these jobs we also do times tables drills, check spelling, review geography facts and instill a love of learning into our young actors.

Wonka gate
I am so lucky to call them friends and co-workers in this extreme labor of love.

And now we get to sit back and enjoy the fruit of our long labors.

We'll continue to work tirelessly until the curtain goes up.  We'll be the ones with the tears of pride (and relief) streaming down our cheeks and the ones who applaud the loudest.

Because putting on a production like this is a bit like giving birth. It's quite a miracle to see these self-conscious (and frankly, quite goofy) junior highers become unforgettably delightful characters.

Which, when you stop and think about it, is also the payoff we're looking forward to by educating them at home. =D

Willy Wonka Jon

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general.
If you are a monk, you will become the Pope."
Instead, I was a painter, and became Picasso."

                                                                  ~ Pablo Picasso

ADDENDUM by way of explanation (added 2/5/09):
Yes we homeschool.

We belong to what is called the Community Home Education Program (CHEP for short). It would be considered the public school for homeschoolers.  We have access to books, libraries, and any other educational resources available to the average kid in public school.

They have optional classes available at each one of their four Orange County sites.  Each homeschooling family reports to a credentialed teacher who helps keep us on track. 

The Drama program is just one of the many activities available to our kids.  They begin in September with auditions and casting and rehearse once a week at the site (which happens to be minutes from us) in a large classroom. 

All the kids in the production are homeschooled and their parents pitch in to make it happen. We have two moms who are trained voice coaches, a dad who is a contractor, and of course, the rest of us parents who just know how to "do stuff."  =D