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Of all the plays I have watched and will still be going to watch in my entire life, the last weekend of May I saw the most special play of all, performed by WOW-EFFECT. No other play will ever exceed this experience. Because it was the one I wrote myself: Bedtime Stories.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

A year ago my new friend Tulya came up with a project (if you’d like to know the whole story about how this project came to be, read my previous article). We would create our own story around the title Bedtime Stories. Her aim was to perform this twice on the Steigerzaal stage of Lindenberg Theater, which fills 144 people in the audience each night. If you’ll sell out, that is. If you don’t, you will lose a lot of money, because this stage is kind of expensive.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

For this reason, I would have never chosen to perform a play there, with a group that is not yet known by the crowd and creates and performs a play for the first time. Trying to fill it twice seemed even more audacious. But it was Tulya’s dream and she didn’t want to settle for less. I can’t thank her enough for that. Because we had a full audience twice!

And I got to be one of the audience members. It felt a bit weird, not being backstage and ease the nerves of ‘my’ actors. But as the writer of the play, I really, really wanted to watch. I was probably more nervous than all the actors combined. I had never felt this way before when I had to perform myself. Because then I would only have to worry about my part. Now, I worried about the whole thing. What if something went wrong? What if people wouldn’t show up to see it? But most importantly: what if people wouldn’t like it? I mean, those were my words being acted out on stage.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

But all these nerves disappeared in an instant when I saw the audience walking in. So many people came, so many people apparently were interested in seeing my first creation on stage. What an overwhelming feeling! I can honestly say that at that moment, I felt true happiness.

And the actors, they did an awesome job. I had seen them play these scenes a million times before, and they did an awesome job every time, but never had they played so phenomenal as this weekend, on the real stage. It’s amazing what they had accomplished within a few months. In the very beginning, during our first rehearsals, some actors were even too nervous to act in front of our own group. But now, seven months after our first sessions with the whole group, each of them thrived on stage in front of these 100+ people.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

I got to participate a tiny bit as well. In the first scene, I sang a really creepy lullaby, at which monsters were dancing on stage. I performed this song together with our guitar player next to the audience. I also performed the ending song together with our clarinet player. I had picked the song Hymn of the Fayth from Final Fantasy X, because this best fitted the atmosphere in my opinion. It was so awesome to sing this song from a video game in this very different setting.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

However, my performance part was not the most important part of the evening for me. It was seeing the other actors shine. Seeing them act the words I had written, seeing the growth every actor had experienced, seeing the passion they put into the project we had built up together. The feeling that gave me is truly indescribable.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Simon van Eik

But I was not only paying attention to the actors on stage. I also noticed how smoothly everything went backstage. Even though I was not backstage myself, I knew exactly the hard work that was going on back there. Actors that had to get rid of their monster face (no, I’m not insulting their beauty, they really had monster make up on their face!) and had to be transformed into hospital patients with regular stage make up, main characters that had to change from nightwear into daytime wear in seconds time and props that had to be changed on stage in between scenes. Numerous things could go wrong, or take too much time, but all went so smoothly. I was so proud on everyone backstage for doing such a great job.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

I really enjoyed every second of these two performances. I saw the actors being in their full element, I heard the audience laugh at jokes and hold their breaths during the sad parts and I enjoyed my creepy singing performance to the fullest. This was such an amazing experience. It is indescribable how fulfilling this was. I was really sad when it was over. I know I will definitely write a play again in the future, but it will never be as special as this one. Because it will never be my first anymore.

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

Thank you, WOW-EFFECT, for giving me this amazing experience. I will never forget how much I have learned from this project. I conquered mountains I believed were way too high. I exceeded my own expectations by doing things I never thought were possible. Not in this amount of time at least, but maybe not even at all. This project made me realize anything is possible, as long as you put your heart and soul into it and work hard to reach your goal. I always thought this was an empty phrase, that you needed a great share of luck as well to accomplish big things. But this project hadn’t anything to do with luck. We worked hard – at some points I thought we even worked too hard – and this really paid off.

Having said that, I think I will make this my goal no. 102. I didn’t want to include writing a play as a goal on my list, since I already knew I was going to write one for sure when I made my list. (Didn’t know it would be such a success though.) I felt it would be cheating to make this one of my 101 goals. But now, it also doesn’t feel quite right not to see this as an accomplished goal at all, because it truly is. It may even be the biggest goal I will accomplish in these 1001 days. So here it is:

No 102: Write a Play –> Accomplished!

Tanya's 101 - Play no. 9: Bedtime Stories, The Play I Wrote!

Photo by Christian Utzerath

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