OPINION: Out of the Shadows comes into the light

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Last November I experienced a truly profound, uplifting and inspiring performance of “Fiddler on the Roof,” a production of Out of the Shadows Theater. With all due respect to the Tony and Pulitzer prize-winning playwrights, it was the local actors and shadow actors who won the day and my heart.

In 2016 Wendy Carroll decided it was time individuals with disabilities were given the opportunity and support to experience the joy and sense of achievement theater brings and Out of the Shadows Theater was born. OTS casts actors with disabilities in a fully-staged Broadway musical. Each actor is supported by a non-disabled shadow actor throughout rehearsals and performances. Actors and shadow actors range in age from 9 to 64.

On Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. actors, shadow actors and volunteers are invited to meet at the Lutheran Academy of the Master, 4800 N. Ramsey Road in Coeur d’Alene to brush up on how to audition and learn about the rehearsal and performance schedules. Auditions for “Mary Poppins Jr.” are Aug. 27 at the same place and time. All ages and disabilities are encouraged to participate. Info: 208-818-0953 www.outoftheshadowstheater.com

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Facebook, email and texts just can’t compare to the thoughtfulness of a card with a handwritten note sent in the mail that arrives on a random Monday. A friend wrote that she saw the beautiful hand-painted card at Art on the Green and thought of me. I was so touched by the gesture. I need to be more like my friend with all of the people I treasure.

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My car was in the body shop last week to repair damage from a truck backing into me on the Fourth of July. All week I drove a rental car with CA plates. I owe an apology to every California transplant who’s said that locals can be really unpleasant to people with California plates. I always took it with a grain of salt, dismissing it as more of an urban legend than factual. Until last week, that is.

In a mall parking lot in Coeur d’Alene I was opening the door to the rental car when a woman walked by. I smiled. She started to smile then looked down at the license plates, looked at me and said, “why don’t you just go back!” and kept on walking. I was startled, not making the connection. I wondered if she meant I should go back to the store or back to Post Falls, which didn’t make much sense. Then it clicked.

Wow. Just wow.

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The newest member of the Main Street Birthday Club, David Jude Connelly, arrived on Sunday, Aug. 5.

The third child of Hope and Daniel Connelly, David weighed in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. and joins big sister, Felicity, 3, and big brother, Luke, 18 months. Welcome to the world David and congratulations Connelly family!

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Things to Do:

Thursday is opening night of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre’s “Legally Blonde, the Musical” at the Kroc Center, 7:30 p.m. Show runs through August 26.

The Coeur d’Alene Symphony is featured in Thursday’s Riverstone Summer Concert Series from 6 to 8 p.m.

Also on Thursday “Despicable Me 3” is playing at Syringa Park in Post Falls at sunset.

Saturday, Kootenai County Farmers Market at Prairie Avenue and Highway 95 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

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Happy 8/8 birthdays today to Roberta Larsen, Sara Meyer, Jodi Anderson, Eli Yates, Jeff Humphrey, Ken McMeans, Virginia Griggs, Jim Hollingsworth, Jennifer Bokma, Heidi Phillips-Allen and Patty Collins. Tomorrow Anne Anderson, Joni Hay-Smith, Terry Morris, Jack Havens, Kyle Patterson and Christian Strailman celebrate the anniversary of their birth. On Friday Jeff Grundon, Caryl Johnston, Sydney Sales, Jeremy Morris, Chelsea Cordova, Bonita Koontz, Tim Symons and John Hammon take another trip around the sun. Saturday birthday girls are Ann Seddon, Phyllis Berry, Erin Valente, Lisa Bell and Edith Uhl. On Sunday Joe Paisley, Stacey Berger, Jennifer Pitts, Ed Collins, Claudia Hurt, Deena Krobath, Roger Saterfiel, Ronda Nash, Mariah Silva, Julie Hunt, Jennifer James and Nevaeh Witherspoon add a year to their age. George Gee, Mike Laverdure, Tery Garras, Michelle Coppess, Donna Flom and Bryan DeKeles are putting on their party hats come Monday. Annette Nolting, Erin Elliott, Lisa Hutcheson, Peter Faletto, Erin Reasor, Melinda Engel, Marla Lewis, Kevin Flaa, Elaine Damschen, Melinda Frost and Gene Mann will blow out their candles on Tuesday.

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Kerri Rankin Thoreson is a member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the former publisher of the Post Falls Tribune. Main Street appears every Wednesday in The Press and Kerri can be contacted on Facebook or via email mainstreet@cdapress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kerrithoreson.

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