As this year's director and lead scriptwriter, it was my goal to give Tokushima a fun opportunity to practice English and to learn about a story from another country. It was always a joy for me to watch the audience from behind the curtain. I smiled when you smiled. I laughed when you laughed. Most importantly, when you applauded us so warmly at the end of every show, I was truly happy. I hope you'll see us again next year!
Now, just like the Muses tell stories about big, strong heroes... Sing in me, O Muses, a song of thanks to my strong, tireless, talented, creative, wonderful cast and crew!
To the crew, backstage volunteers, and staff volunteers, thank you so much for your hard work. You were the backbone of this production, and we could truly transform each venue due to your hard work and dedication. From set pieces and props, to lights and sound tech, you all gave this show the magic it needed. You took Hercules to the far reaches of Iya Valley, you showed us a glimpse of heaven, and you even brought a hydra to life. You're all true heroes, and as Phil says, "There's nothing you can't do!"
To the musical committee and producers, thank you for your constant support. Thank you to Jen and Till, our producers at TOPIA. Your work behind the scenes was crucial to our success. To my close friend and assistant director Jaymie, thank you for your endless support and your vast array of skills. The Tokushima AJET Musical was lucky to have someone as driven and as talented as you for three whole years.
And finally, to the cast-- new faces and veterans alike-- thank you for your enthusiasm and passion for this show. For three months, you gave up so much time to practice lines, songs, and dances, despite your busy lives during the week. It was always a pleasure to work with you and watch you perform. You took the words of a script and gave it life. If there's anything I learned from you all, I learned that dreams do come true. You made my dream of bringing Hercules to Tokushima a reality, and I don't have enough words to thank you for it. Be proud of your hard work and the places you've made for yourselves in this beloved tradition of English musicals in Tokushima.
As the last chapter of "Hercules: Awa Hero" closes, I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved in this show. So many people have told me how challenging it must have been to direct the musical this year. In all honesty, it would have been an incredible challenge to face if I had been on my own. But I was never alone; I always had a team of inspired, talented peers standing with me. As I recall these past eight months, I realize how incredibly lucky I was to have had such a supportive cast and crew to work with. Your smiles always made me smile, in spite of any difficulties. It was my pleasure to direct such amazing people.
Thank you for Going the Distance with me.
So I'm gonna shout it from the mountaintops: thank you all so much! You're all my heroes!
With endless love, respect, and admiration,
Director, 2016 Tokushima AJET Musical