Have you ever heard of beer:30? I haven't, and I'm from Iowa. We love beer and things that happen on the half hour. But it's a big thing at Seattle Rep. Every Friday in the scene shop they turn off their power drills and pump up the keg for a celebration of the week's hard work. I had never actually attended one, but that all changed last Friday.
During the afternoon, two of our lovely board members were scheduled to stop by to get a chance to meet everyone and spread some love around the Rep. Little did we know that they were also bearing gifts of liquid sunshine. Everyone that they ran into got a fluorescent yellow Smiley-Face Antenna to wear as they finished up their work at their desk (see photo to the right for a slice of the magic). These two were everywhere. Even if you weren't at your desk, they cornered you in the bathroom and made sure that everyone got their Simpsons-esque Mickey Mouse ears. Also, try having a serious conversation with those smiley faces bopping around on your head. You just can't do it.
Once work became too laborious to continue, I headed down to the scene shop for some beer:30 action. Everyone and their theatre-geek brother were there. It was amazing. We gathered in a huge circle and sang a rousing "Happy birthday" to Ben Moore and sliced up some of the most delicious cake. (There is a drool puddle on my desk just from thinking about it) Then the two board members announced that it was time for the raffle that they had planned. Here's the thing, I love raffles. Your name on a carnival ride ticket, the fantasies about beating out your fellow co-workers, getting excited when you hear the "K" sound only to have it end in the name "Karen" and then masking your disappointment. This is the real drama folks.
There were 32 envelopes to raffle off and they gave us clear instructions that they weren't to be opened until all of them were distributed. As they pulled names out of the box each person was applauded as they made their was to the middle of the circle to choose their envelope. When they called my name, I put on a great surprise face as I went to get my envelope. I decided earlier not to boast about the fact that I usually win these types of things. I'm just gifted like that. Finally they called out all 32 names, including a Molly that no one knows who the heck she is, and then we opened our prizes. I ripped open the side, and there he was. U.S. Grant staring me in the face. A crisp 50 dollar bill was in my hand and the five-year-old in me started shouting, "This is the best day of my life!" I was shocked, and happy, and overwhelmed, and grateful. I was basically a Lifetime Movie ready to explode. It was such an amazing gesture for these board members to make towards our staff, and it was certainly a day we'll never forget. Once the raffle was over and I stopped hyperventilating we all hung around to drink beer and have a few laughs. It was a great day to be a member of the Rep team and a great way to be introduced to the legacy that is beer:30.