I hope that you will attend this reunion . . .
It's scary to consider that we have all either recently passed through or are about to cross the twenty-year mark since we left high school. I don't know about you, but I realized at my ten-year reunion that the people who I wanted to see the most were not necessarily confined to my graduating class. I spent most of my free time in high school hanging out in the OHS auditorium with a bunch of funny, creative, and off-center folk who, for better or worse, had a huge impact on the type of person I am today. Maybe it's because the theater evokes such strong emotions; maybe it's because I was a teenager and too stupid to know any better, but I've rarely formed such intense or lasting friendships as the ones I made back then. It's been all too easy to lose touch with the people who meant so much to me. So I hope you will attend this reunion to reforge, or at least remember, those bonds.
Bill Convery
Theater lore and secret spaces
Like nothing else in my experience, the OHS auditorium was a huge treasure box of tricks, traps, and secret places comprehensible only through experience and by the guidance of upperclassmen and women who had gone before. Negotiating its space and discovering its secrets required an understanding of received lore and the unspoken belief in the auditorium was a huge, interconnected, organic system. The auditorium included public spaces (the stage and seating), semi-private spaces (the loading dock, the catwalks, the control booth, orchestra pit, the workshop), and secret spaces (which, considering the reaction to the recent exposure of some secret areas in the Smoky Hill HS auditorium, I don’t dare name). Each contained their share of stories and tradition, of exploration and discovery, daring do and unexpected moments, of risk and fellowship.

Some secret spaces lay in plain sight, which liked the threadbare green couch in the stage left follow spot bay were notable only for its unwholesome stains and for the stories we shared about unsanctioned student activities that took place there. Some of the lore we exchanged was practical—that flipping the unmarked light switch on the fifth catwalk had catastrophic consequences, for instance, or that fiddling with a certain valve near the workshop door tripped the stage’s fire suppression system. And like every repository of emotional intensity, the stage had its share of ghost stories: Who was that shadowy figure that lurked near the follow spots? What kind of sick ghoul was Hermie the Headset Baby?

What stories can you share? What lore do you remember?
Bill Convery
Not Quite In the Same Room with a Picture of the Theatre...
I fondly remember Thespian initiation at OHS. Waking up at the crack of dawn. Waking others up (like Carol Spangler OHS '85) and dragging everyone--pajama clad--to Denny's for breakfast. How fun was that? Well, I didn't stay involved in theatre directly (though my brother Mike, Smokey Hill Class of '81, has spent his entire professional life in the theatre--and, by the way, he knew those "secret" and unmentionable spaces in the SMH theatre quite well). I have, however, spent a good deal of time on stage over the past 22 years since OHS. That time has been spent behind a microphone surrounded by musicians far better than I, but it's been my performance release and I treasure it. I've been singing blues/roots/jazz music in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley (from time to time). My day job is managing the operations of my post-OHS alma mater's alumnae/i association (Vassar College). I'm sorry I won't be able to make this reunion--I'm sure it will be a blast. I'm on the web--look me up if you're in NY.
Willa Panvini McCarthy
Road Poem

Six Guys in a van in the middle of nowhere.

Know where thier going but don't know how to get there.

Alex and Mike in the back taken off their underwear

Chris smoking and driving like he just does not care.

(I cannot remember the rest- is it "Nah Nah Nah!" or just "Na Na Nah!"?)

Michael Convery