Quitter Sadie Perkins stops trying to find the perfect personality and finds her backbone instead, all while saving the school play, rescuing her kidnapped English teacher, and getting the guy.
Oh good, the hay is sticking to my butt. It’s almost time.
“Court's adjourned!” my onstage father yells jubilantly.
I saunter out from stage left, my long braids thumping against my back, and head for center stage.
“Why, Ado Annie, where on earth have you been?” asks Aunt Eller.
“Will and me had a misunderstandin'. But he explained it fine,” I twang, brushing the hay off the back of my long red skirt.
The audience laughs. A giggle percolates in my throat but I squash it before it reaches my mouth. I smile widely and serenely instead, in character.
Two cowboys pull the surrey with the fringe on top off the stage, and we launch into the reprise of “Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’”.
Way too fast, curtain call is here. We switch to “Oklahoma”. Cast members march to center stage in small groups to be recognized. I walk on alone since Ado Annie is a pretty big role – the biggest role of my career, in fact. The ruffles of my petticoat bunch up between my legs as I walk, threatening to ruin my perfect moment. As I curtsy, I reach back and yank at the miles of fabric that make up my costume. Success. My petticoat’s back where it should be.
I sneak in another curtsy, soaking in the applause -- the best sound in the world. I accept it like a gift in my open arms.
When the bows are done, we move forward as a mass for the final chorus.
The curtain closes. It’s over. The entire cast whoops with joy. We bolt offstage and hug each other. On the second hug, I burst into tears.
Our judges said, "There was a real battle between us over which entries made it into the final five runners-up - we didn't make our decision lightly, but it was in this month more than most, where we wished we could have had at least one more finalist. We should also mention that there were some stonkingly brilliant entries who could have given our finalists a battle for their place in the top six - but, alas, there was no fantasty element to be seen - don't forget to read the challenge brief in full, everyone!".