Monday, March 07, 2005

Only One Voice?

The Young People's Theater Co. kicked off its Spring Season on March 4th 2005 with a wonderful production of Peter Pan. There will be 19 shows over the next two weeks, with two main casts and three choruses. My two boys have been involved with YPT for three years and it has been a wonderful journey Christopher landed the role of Michael and Andrew was cast as a lost boy. It was quite funny on Friday because Andrew named his ever-elusive black karate shoe as the "lost shoe" as it fell off three times! It will be as secure as Peter's shadow after Wendy sewed it back on for the next show!

I invited Councillor Judy Chirco and the Management team of the Parks and Recreation Department in San José to attend, in my capacity as a spokesperson for the YPT parent support group and Advisory Board Member for District 9 in San José. Everyone except one replied to my e-mail and everyone except two intend to attend. The people who are unable to attend are numbers one and two in the hierarchy in the Parks and Recreational Services in San José.

The person who did not reply was sitting in front of me on opening night and was overheard saying "I am only one voice" when asked by a concerned parent about the future of the program. The same "one voice" put the program up for closure.

So, my question is this. What does it actually mean when someone says "I am only one voice" ? Does it imply impotence? Does it imply defeat, exasperation and an "it is out of my hands" abdication of responsibility? I wonder.

I am only one voice, but a voice that speaks to others. I have told hundreds of people about this place. I invite all my friends to the performances. I attend fund raising events. In short, I wholeheartedly support the program.

I spent last Saturday collecting signatures on a petition to have the program officially recognised by the City of San José and to oppose the closure. I collected 150+ at two shows alone. Here are some children's voices.

"One voice" can be effective, persuasive, negative or - worse - inaudible. When you are number three in the hierarchy of the management team at Parks and Recreational Services in San José it is not acceptable to be ineffective or inaudible.


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