Speaking as an alum (“Li’l Abner” 1989), I look back on that experience with a sense of pride and reverence. When we’re young, we tend to over inflate certain moments and experiences, easily turning the mundane into life altering triumphs or tragedies. As adults, we find ourselves surrendering to the nostalgia, reliving and reinventing those same former glories
Yet, like so many past Seneca grads, I don’t think we’re guilty of either charge when we reflect upon our senior musical memories. It truly was a profound moment. Like our own John Hughes movie, or even “Glee” with a more likeable cast. A stage full of actors, actresses, dancers, singers, jocks, dopes, prom queens, and dungeon masters. The popular and the unpopular. All united for a common purpose. Because it was Seneca, and that’s what you did.
I remember watching one of our most accomplished athletes, after much convincing, take on the lead role of Li’l Abner, and then knock it out of the park. He seamlessly stepped outside of his comfort zone to be part of something special to that school. Because it was Seneca, and that’s what you did.
I remember a very shy student agreeing to take on a speaking role, a role that consumed him with terror prior to each performance. But when that spotlight hit him, he got those lines out every night, thanks to a few well-timed cues and whispers from those who shared the stage. A group of vastly different teenagers, rooting for and encouraging one another. Because it was Seneca, and that’s what you did.
I remember being head over heels for a girl in my class and using every solo I had as a personal appeal to her heart. We went on our first “date” on Thanksgiving, the day after the final performance. Dating one of the actors is not Seneca, and that’s not necessarily “what you did”, but that tiny success eventually taught me what it was like to fall in love for the first time. That’s pretty cool I guess.
The Seneca Senior Musical was one of those local traditions that has made living in and returning to Louisville so special to so many people. The tradition may not be what it once was, but there is hope that a new one will immerge. Because that’s Seneca, and that’s what they do.
Photo: Seneca High School