Each day I have tried to plan a schedule to check off the list of things to accomplish. But, I am afraid that we have not actually kept to the schedule. The children are young and sometimes it takes longer than expected for them to learn the things they need to. But thankfully, I have some great helpers to teach the music and dances and help with acting and shepherding our little "Lambs." Also, some interested parents have just appeared willing to be volunteer helpers. Today my sister is coming to do costume fittings with the younger kids. Last night, my daughter helped me paint some set pieces. Yet, I still have a lot to do!
"Why do I do this?" I wonder.
So many theater groups do the same popular shows over and over such as Disney's "Little Mermaid Jr." or "Aladdin Jr." or "Seussical the Musical Jr." Those shows are great for what they are and the music is wonderful, of course. And it is true that people like what they know. The popular title draws the crowd. But are these shows always the best choice for young children?
I prefer mounting shows for the youngest children that help teach good character traits and moral values (and NEVER have LOVE scenes). I also prefer doing shows where each participant is busy for the whole production. Many of the popular shows feature just a few actors and everybody else gets lost in the few crowd scenes.
Last night I overheard my 7-year-old grandson explain to the the neighbor boy about our play. He was surprised that the little boy didn't know about Aesop or his fables, or what the word "contrary" meant. The kids were playing in the backyard and Ethan didn't know his mother and I were overhearing their conversation as we were painting. Ethan told his friend about the contrary Boy Who Cried Wolf and how he lied so much that the people wouldn't believe him anymore. "You really shouldn't lie to people." He also explained that he got to be the Wolf and carry off his sister as the last little Sheep. He even had his sister Iris demonstrate her little Lamb dance. She sang as she danced, and Ethan came up and carried her off just as they are to perform it in the show.
Katelyn and I looked at each other. "That's why you keep doing this," she said. Yes, indeed.