Thursday, May 8, 2008

229. At the Multi-Purpose Center

Last night there was a diverse crowd at the Multi-Purpose Center. Two quite-different, but sometimes overlapping, groups showed up. It was quite amusing as people from each group-unaware of the other group's contemporaneous event-stood about, trying to get to the right spot.

Area students from Hopwood, Mount Carmel, MHS, Saipan Southern and SAEFS (Saipan American...School) were staging two one-act comedies in the main area of the Multi-Purpose Center. They had been rehearsing for weeks, had put up posters around Saipan, and sold tickets, all on a shoe-string (or less!) budget.

Scheduled at the same time, in the conference room, Representative Tina Sablan hosted a forum on the Open Government Act.

Ruth Tighe, Greg Sablan, John Gourley, Mike Nisperos, Wolf Mojica and a whole lot of other well-known and lesser known people eventually headed into the conference room--packed in tightly, with less-than-satisfactory air-conditioning, all to learn and participate in a meaningful way in our local civic affairs.

Meanwhile, an equally large crowd, including Mike Dotts, Karen Borja, Dora Miura, and a whole host of future leaders, took seats arranged in a circle around an open space--the shoe-string version of "theatre in the round" to watch CINDERELLA WORE COMBAT BOOTS, and AN EVENING OF CULTURE.

I sat at the ticket table for the student Thespians of the Western Pacific Islands(TWPI) production, selling tickets at the ridiculously low price of $3 for students and $5 for adults, enjoying the bedlam. Adelayah Mojica, interested in both events, helped steer people in the right direction with a well practiced "Are you here for Tina Sablan's forum?" directed at those who came with notepads and serious faces, and with a patient request to "please wait until the house opens" at known teachers, parents, those with children, and anyone obviously smiling.

As both events got underway, there was very little sound coming from the conference room, and occasionally someone left early or entered late, jostling for an open chair.

In the "theatre," there were few empty seats, but because of the "in the round" staging, everyone was within 3 rows of the action. Bursts of laughter streamed through the closed doors, punctuating the quiet of the lobby.

Two very different events, both part of a vibrant community life. I'm glad I was there.


Samatakah said...

See, this is what I like about reading your blog: I get a sense of your community, a place about which I knew close to nothing before I told you I would read your blog.

I live in a metro area of six million people, a city of 170,000. I get something "small" about reading about your Saipan that I don't get elsewhere. Thanks.

Saipan Writer said...

Thanks, samatakah.

Saipan is a small enough community that we all know someone almost everywhere we go, but then we can lose track of what else is happening as we get caught up in our own (small) lives.

6 million people--I'd freak. I could enjoy that on vacation, but I don't think I could go back to living in such a large place. A metro area of 170,000-about twice the number of people who live in all of the CNMI!

It's good we can share our relative worlds. :-)