THE NIGHTENGALE ENTERTAINERS

August 5, 2008.

My sister, while in the process of moving, came across a contract I wrote when I was 12. My two sisters, our two friends, and I had formed a theatre troupe called The Nightengale Entertainers (nightingale was obviously spelled wrong). I was President, my sister Deborah was Treasurer, and our friend Elsie was Secretary. My youngest sister Danae and Elsie’s younger sister Faye were Junior Members and I guess I wrote the contract for them to sign… perhaps because they were harder to keep in line. We wrote and performed two plays; one was called Livingstone’s Life in Africa and the other was called The Trouble with Etiquette. They were hilarious, filled with implausible plots, multiple characters, tons of scene changes, and lots of physical comedy. But the contract just kills me. I don’t remember writing it although it sounds just like me:

The Nightengale Entertainers Membership Contract
Dues: $1.00/month

As the founder of the Nightengale Entertainers, we feel that it is our obligation to inform you of a few rules that you must agree to upon joining the Nightengale Entertainers.

I. First of all, once you join the Nightengale Entertainers, you must remain with them for as long as this contract states. You must attend all rehearsals scheduled, unless it is impossible to do so, without complaint.

II. Secondly, you must remember that it is with your best interests at heart that we assign you certain parts, even though you may not like them. It is your duty to do your best at it regardless of your frame of mind. But you will have a say in what the script says, and what character you would like best to play, and we will try to honor your wishes.

III. Third, there must not be any arguing of any kind unless it will benefit our purpose. Nor must there be any name calling, threatening, segregating, or walking out on the company. Any problems will be solved in a dignified manner.

If you take it upon yourself to try to follow these rules, you will receive the benefits of belonging to the N.E., and will be assured of a part in any and all productions that we produce.

I, _________ and _________ have read and understood the above contract, and agree to everything it says.

As the founders of the N.E., it is our right to refer to this contract in the event of a controversial issue.

This contract is the property of the Nightengale Entertainers.

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