Monday, November 19, 2007

Arts and memories

I've had several nights off in a row, and though I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped (no one has THAT many hours in a day), we did get to a play Friday night. The State Theater of North Carolina is nearby and their season runs from about April or May to December. Two weeks ago I won tickets to "Smokey Joe's Cafe" from our local radio station, and while there, heard about the YouTHeater putting on "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." So Fri. I ran over and bought tickets for that night's performance.

We were not disappointed. The kids did a wonderful job, and the man who wrote the songs and play took a unique approach. He used the children running around and the "townspeople" mingling as an opportunity to change the stage and it was done so smoothly, you didn't realize til later what was going on. He also staged "tableaus" in which the group would freeze in one stance, and though he didn't have a horse, the way in which Ichabod Crane was snatched and disappeared was eerie and very nicely accoplished. I hope they perform this again in a few years--I'll definitely go see it again.

I am so glad our Theater Group runs workshops for children and involves them in the regular plays as well as special productions. With the schools cutting back on arts and music, I believe our public school children are missing out on so much. How can school boards spend so much on sports and neglect this aspect of life? Because creativity is such an important part of my life, I feel it should be offered to these young, imaginative minds before they get to be too "cool" to play-act, or paint, or make things any more. Seeing those children up there, from first-graders to high school seniors, made me smile.

It reminded me so much of when DD was doing theater. She started in church and school plays when she was 8 years old, and at one point, wanted to be an actress. I sweated that one out, and she went into law instead--inspired by a mock trial she and classmates were a part of. Through high school, she took drama, and majored in drama at the University. (There is no pre-law curriculum; all you need is an undergraduate degree.) She and her friends were involved in community theater, and we always made it to the shows--even the one which required she kiss another girl. Gulp.

I was not prepared for that one, and she didn't tell me ahead of time. Several of her friends were peeking out from backstage to see how I would handle it, though she didn't look my way. Okay, I admit it: I am a conservative through and through, and this was hard to swallow. And in one play, one of her friends (whom we'd known since SHE was 8 years old) had to remove her blouse. She was a little bit nervous doing this in front of us, and actually turned her back to our part of the audience.

I remember when DD directed "A Doll's House". The seats were at stage level, and it was so realistic, I had to bite my lip to keep from joining in the onstage arguments! That was a VERY small theater. In fact, they used our Christmas tree as a prop--and we never got it back. Oh, well--our little contribution to live theater.
I have helped DD shop for props, and contributed more than that one item, too, though I got the others back. I kind of miss being that involved in plays, because I am not talented enough to act or direct or be a stage manager, and DD's performances and productions opened my eyes to a whole new world.

So this weekend, when DD comes down for Thanksgiving, we are planning to go see this play at our community theater:

Since DD only has a day to spend with us, and I have to work Mon. Tues. and Wed. nights, I don't intend to live in the kitchen while she's here. Instead, Honeybaked Ham is cooking my turkey, some of the sides, and the desserts, and I'll add a few items to the menu. So, we'll eat early on Friday, and then the three of us will go enjoy a comedy thriller. Maybe we'll come back to hot mulled cider or hot chocolate and discuss the plot and the performances before going to bed. We might reminisce about DD's dramatic past, remembering past good times, and making memories to be thankful for in the future.


PEA said...

Believe it or not, but I've never been to a theater production and yet we have a Theater right here in town and apparently they put on wonderful plays. I must get tickets one day and see if I enjoy that kind of genre. It sounds like you have some fabulous plans for when DD comes home...enjoy every minute:-) xox

MightyMom said...


ellia said...

such a beautiful post!!! ahhhh, theatre! i remember our school would go [in 4th grade, we saw "tales of a 4th grade nothing"].... i just saw they were doing "frog and toad" the last play i saw was the infamous nutcracker- it was ramel and i's first [and gosh darn it, near only] elegant date... hehehe... ahhh, such a sweet post :D