#MomLife: That Time I Became A Theater Mom

Mary, Girl #2 (Cade Hightree) and Theater Mom (Steph Hightree).

I’ve worn many hats in my life: Daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, church board chairperson, PTO Secretary, PTO President, gymnastics mom, soccer mom, and the list goes on. But recently I have added another hat to my collection: Theater Mom. 

This year my daughter decided to try out and ultimately joined the cast of the school musical. She and the cast worked so hard preparing for the show. She got the part of “Mary, Girl #2” and was so excited for the two lines she had, and dancing with the company. For months they met almost every evening practicing and putting things together. I would drop her off and pick her back up but I didn’t do much more than that. Until I got the email asking for volunteers.

Naturally, I can’t say no, so I volunteered to organize the food for their 7-hour rehearsal at the beginning of Tech Week. Little did I know that one volunteer opportunity would turn into so much more. While I was there that day I started to talk with the cast and the crew and the backstage people, and instantly felt welcomed. It was like their family took me under their wing and embraced the idea of allowing a new member in. I was hooked. And so began my journey from Cadence and Nathan’s mom to Theater Mom. 

I never had the desire to act or become part of the Drama Club in high school. It just wasn’t my thing. I had no problem talking in front of people, but acting was a world I did not want to visit. So getting involved with the high school drama club as an adult surprised me but because Cadence was involved in it, I decided to give it a try. 

I helped with backstage operations. I made props, helped with hair and makeup, learned how to properly tie a tie, organized costumes, and overall tried to keep things as organized as possible. It was fun. 

When I wasn’t in the audience watching the show, I was backstage watching from the side. I would be lying if I said I didn’t tear up and start crying while watching these kids on stage. These kids are amazing. And they quickly became my kids.   

Yesterday was the last show and it was so much fun. You could see the difference from show 1 to show 6, I’m so proud of these kids. 

Becoming a Theater Mom has shown me that stepping out of your comfort zone can be a good thing. Like I said earlier, I am used to volunteering with different groups, but theater has never been one of them. And I’m so glad I took the plunge because I now have new friends I probably would have never met if I didn’t sign up to be the food organizer on that random Sunday. Being a part of this group has given me so much joy. I watched these kids perform with a smile on my face every time. 

So, the moral of this column is: When you least expect it, something will fall into your lap and change the way you see things. I used to see theater as daunting and out of my league but now I realize there is so much more to just being an actor on the stage.

Helping backstage and meeting these people, and working with them for multiple days in a row has shown me that it is possible to be so proud of someone you just met that you cry happy tears for them and burst with pride. These kids are my new friends and children, and I can’t wait for the next show so that I can wear my Theater Mom hat once again.    

Steph Hightree is a hot mess mom who is fueled by stress and too much caffeine. She is a Three Rivers native who talks about the good, the bad, and well, everything else about parenthood.


Any views or opinions expressed in “#MomLife” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.

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