The Show Goes On

July 10, 2011
“How did you dare to trade and traffic with Macbeth in riddles and affairs of death? And I, the mistress of your charms, the close contriver of all harms, was never called to bare my part…”

I will never forget the hours I spent studying, memorizing, and practicing Shakespeare my junior year. You’re probably thinking what a chore, but it wasn’t. My drama teacher didn’t bore us—she enthralled us. Maralynn Markano was not only our teacher, but our mentor.

Mrs. Markano decided to direct the infamous show Macbeth my junior year. Despite complaints, Mrs. Markano pushed ahead with auditions. It became clear Shakespeare wasn’t most high school students’ strong point. After spending sleepless nights and endless hours selecting the perfect cast, she started rehearsals.

When we all showed up the first day, it became clear that there were some divisions. The first thing she mentioned when we walked in was the typical high school dilemma.
“There will be no cliques or groups at rehearsal. When we are at practice, we are one. One team there for each other, to support one another” She said.
It became clear sections wouldn’t be tolerated. However I can’t even begin to explain or describe how she united us, until I describe the longest week in all of our lives.
We were nearing tech week (the week before the show), and everyone was nervous for what lied ahead. We had a long rehearsal one night, and one of our cast mates never showed up. People texted and called, but no response came from our friend. Some of us were mad because we had all worked too hard for someone to just not show up. Disappointed we went home, preparing for a long day of school and rehearsal.
The next day brought depressing news. The girl hadn’t shown up because she had been in a severe car accident. There had been a four car pile-up on the free way. Our friend was in a coma, and no one knew what the future held. Rehearsal that night was tough, all of us anxious to hear the doctors’ updates. The show could have fallen apart. We could have fallen apart. But our director held us together. She gave us hope and strength. Always thinking forward and positively, she guided us through it.

We preformed on schedule and dedicated every performance to our friend. It’s not easy to understand the difficulty and patience it takes to produce a show, let alone while someone’s tiptoeing on the thin line of life or death. Mrs. M ordered all the costumes, managed the set builders, hired professionals to come in and speak, taught us Shakespeare, blocked all the scenes, pulled together lighting, and helped with fight choreography. But it wasn’t the extra hours or the inventive directing that made her different. She had the ability to understand and listen.
Mrs. M has always been there for me. She helps me with my monologues and theater ambitions. She’s helping a friend and I put on our own show next year. She’s someone people can go to for help. She puts in more time and effort into her job and developing students than anyone I’ve ever met. Maralynn Markano isn’t just an English and Drama teacher at Arrowhead High School; she’s a “mom” and a mentor to the students who work with her.





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