Lessons from a Groundhog

I was lucky enough to see the musical Groundhog Day this weekend on Broadway. It’s a great show, with fantastic music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. But above all else, the show really brought to life the idea that “everybody has a story” that deserves to be told.  The plot of Groundhog Day focuses on Phil Connors, the weatherman (memorably played by Bill Murray in the movie), and his associate producer, Rita. From what I remember of the movie, all of the other residents in Punxsutawney are little more than foils to the two main characters. But on stage, Minchin breathes life into each character in Punxsutawney by giving them the opportunity to tell their story in song. From the waitress in the diner to the insurance salesman on the street, Minchin allows each character to reveal their dreams, desires and motivations, making it clear that local residents are the beating heart of small town America. It was astonishing to me that Groundhog Day’s most memorable and moving songs are sung by minor supporting characters rather than the leads themselves.

So why is this relevant to nonprofits and Original Tales? Because we believe that a nonprofit’s mission comes to life through the individual stories of the staff, volunteers, board members and program participants. And capturing and sharing those stories can lead to moments as memorable and engaging as my experience at Groundhog Day.

Did I mention that I was lucky enough to see the musical Groundhog Day this weekend on Broadway. It’s a great show, with fantastic music and lyrics by Tim Minchin. But above all else, the show really brought to life the idea…