Merrily We Roll Along

There are no words to describe how lucky Bren was to be a part of this show. Here is the letter Chris and I shared with the cast, crew and creative team.

To everyone at the Huntington, the cast, crew and creative team of Merrily We Roll Along,

We wanted to take this opportunity to say congratulations on an amazing show and more importantly to say thank you.

For two months we’ve lived with the happiest kid in the world as he worked on and performed in this show. He has loved talking about everything happening around him- learning about all different kinds of theater jobs, telling funny backstage stories, hanging out in the wig room, marveling at costumes and meeting so many new an wonderful people.

We try to teach both our kids to be kind and be appreciative. That same message was clear in everything about this experience and every person he met and worked with. For that we can’t say thank enough to everyone who has been his second family.

We’ve shared with some of you that for us the Huntington is a special place- both of our high schools attended student matinees yearly. From that experience we decided to make the arts a family priority. Bren was not even four years old when he went to his first children’s theater show at Calderwood. He asked what the people were called. We said actors. He said that’s what he wanted to do. His first trip to the Huntington was four years ago when he was six to see Jungle Book. It was the biggest theater he had been to up to that point. He asked if he could go up on the stage because it looked so cool. We told him only actors go up there. He told us some day he would be on that stage. Merrily opened almost four years to the day.

All this is to say we know what a driven kid he is. We are so thankful that he has had the experience he has had working with all of you in the place he feels most himself. You are all living his dream. Thank you for everything you have given to him. We know this show will hold a special place for a very long time.

All the best,

Nicole and Chris O’Brien

National Coming Out Day

October 11th was National Coming Out Day It began 29 years ago to mark the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The march featured the first public display of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. That night The History Project honored Larry Kessler, the first Director and one of the founders of AIDS Action Committee (part of a long list of contributions to AIDS service organizations). There is so much that could be said about such a remarkable man. Learning about him has been a master class in leadership, service and compassion. We could use more Larrys in the world.
Separately, the same week, Brendan’s class was asked for Art class to draw the flag that best represents them. The flags would be displayed in the classroom for Open House. Here’s Brendan’s artwork. It prompted conversations in his class, but Brendan, as always, is his authentic self.