The hair is red.
The gables are green.
The clothing is Late 19th Century-Eastern-Canadian-hick.
Hey kids—let’s put on a show!
It’s finally here—Opening Night for Anne of Green Gables.
If you’re new to this blog, allow me bring you up to speed. You see, over the last year, my family has become a troupe of theater freaks. If you want the full story, you are welcome to read The Sound of Worship, The Decider, Drama Queens, Drama Queens (reprise), Call Me Cordelia, and When God Says No.
Or, you can just trust me when I say…we’ve been truly sucked in.
Why, you ask? Some families travel, some camp, some make their own cheese or practice origami—why theater?
Good question—no wonder I like you. The short answer is
but I sense that may not be enough to fully satisfy you, so I’ll go deeper.
Of course, there’s the fun factor. My family likes to perform, and theater gives us that chance. I mean, you get to be up on stage, with bright lights shining on you and people looking at you—it’s got all the excitement of a police lineup without the pesky threat of jail time.
More than that, though, theater is great practice for life. You get to create your own character…essentially your own person. Sure, there’s a script that tells you the basics of who you are and what you’re supposed to do, but within those boundaries, you make the calls. Every time you approach a new role, you get to decide who you want to be. It’s like having multiple personalities, except you don’t have to worry about being institutionalized.
That’s some freedom, there.
Hmmm….God gave me a script, of sorts. It tells me the basics of who I am and what I’m supposed to do, but within those boundaries, I make the calls. Every day, as I approach my life, I get to decide who I want to be.
I think there’s something profound there. Feel free to pause and ponder.
There are other cool benefits to the theater world. When you do a show, you find yourself inhabiting a dressing room with a bunch of people the likes of whom you may never have experienced in real life. You come together from different worlds to work on something big—bigger than what you could do alone. It’s going to take teamwork. You have to get along with these people. Some of them are funny. Some of them smell funny. You will learn all this and more about them during the run of the show, and you will become closer to them than you would have thought possible. If you have ever longed for the camaraderie of the battlefield, without the constant fear of violent death, you should try theater.
In a word…Family.
Theater teaches you about winning and losing and making the most of what you’ve got. You may remember that my daughter tried out for the lead role in this show. She didn’t get it, but she got another part. She has made the most of the role she has, and she is shining in it. My son has only a few lines, but he’s worked really hard to, again, make the most of them. Cathy doesn’t have any lines in this show—as she’ll point out, her character doesn’t even have a first name—but she works to make every gesture, every facial expression, count.
I mostly take up space in the back, but I do it with flair.
Tell me that isn’t life training.
One of the best things about doing theater is that you get to see the results of your labor quickly. Six weeks ago, we were getting scripts. Tonight we open. I don’t know about you, but in my life there are way too many things that take forever to bear fruit. I like seeing my work pay off.
So, basically, theater is like life…only fake. You learn, you work, you grow…and when you mess up, there’s always tomorrow night. Every show is fresh, with no mistakes in it.
Break a leg.