Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Play's the Thing: Young Philip Gives it a Try

The Children's Theatre Workshop in Toledo, at the Collingwood Art Center,
 does a great job of introducing kids to theatre.  Great-grandson Philip
had his turn in a play last night.
  
Remember those plays your kids were in when they were little?  A school play, a neighborhood production, a camp outing? The  kids were rehearsed, costumed, and set to go.  Then, on the big night, they forgot their lines, hemmed and hawed, looked down at their shoes, looked up at the audience, and smiled. We smiled back. We crossed our fingers. We mouthed their lines. Someone off-stage did the same, or another young actor on stage whispered in your child's ear, and a few minutes later maybe they got it, and the show went on.  I loved the bows and the kids' response to the bravos and applause; they were so proud.

Same scenario unfolds with our grandkids. By this time it's the 5th act and we're able to kick back and enjoy the moment, missed lines and all.  Let their parents do the fretting. Same smiles, same joy.

On Friday night, it was Philip's turn.  My six-year-old great-grandson spent a week with the Children's Theatre Workshop at the Collingwood Art Center in Toledo. It's a wonderful program, dating back to 1954,  and the young teachers do a great  job. It was Philip's first experience in drama and the art of acting.  His Gran E said it wasn't his favorite thing to do, but he made new friends, learned about team work, and stuck it out.  She had helped him rehearse his lines and made sure he was dressed in a plain white t-shirt and ready to go.

The lights dimmed, and the show began.  Kids paraded on and off the stage in various constellations of confusion. The play was about a giant grasshopper is all I know, because my daughter told me.  Philip's mom, my oldest granddaughter, was relaxed and into the experience of watching her son on stage.  His Gran E mouthed the words, but it didn't matter. Philip's cousins Kyle and Josh looked at each other and suppressed their laughter, very kind.  They high-fived Philip as he ran to us after the play. I hugged him and told him how great he was. So did his Gran E and his mom.  High fives and hugs all around.  Precious family moments.

For more information about the Children's Theatre Workshop: http://www.childrenstheaterworkshop.org/


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