Monday, April 9, 2018

Experiencing Theater

 Our girls have always loved drama and being dramatic. They have had some opportunities to use those skills with our homeschool co-op and Church but Mara (especially) has longed for a bigger stage to act on.

  This January they tried out for a community Theater play - "The Elves and the Shoemaker" and they both got a part. And so began our experience with theater and having super busy schedules. :-) In late January they began practicing 3 evenings a week which continued through to last week plus a few additional commitments here and there. Last Friday was opening night (I shared a video clip earlier in a post but was unable to add anything else to that post for some reason) and it was so fun to see what all their effort produced.

 The Community Theater has a reputation for putting on high quality performances with super cool sets and neat costumes. For this play they had almost all children try out and many of the children and some adults had no major acting experience. Out of their 39 actors only 6 (and that includes Mara since she is 18) were adults. I guess it was their youngest and most inexperienced group they have ever worked with but they still put on a top notch play. The directors do a very good job!
 Mara got one of the leading roles, the mean landlady. She adds some drama to the play! :-) The tale of the Elves and the Shoemaker is a German fairy tale from the early 1800s (you can see a common version here) and to my knowledge most do not have a mean landlady but to turn this tale into a musical it needed to be lengthened and a little suspense is always good. The musical has a lot of humor in it with a good message about the beauty of helping others.
 Here Sneerella Twerm (Mara) has come to evict the Shoemaker and his wife from their home.
 The shoemaker and his wife without thinking give away the only pair of shoes that they had to sell to a poor woman. Afterwards they realize that was what they needed to sell to make money to pay their home loan.
 The house on the set is complete with an upstairs loft sleeping area and it rotates. The first scene shows the outside of their cute little house and the other scenes show the inside.
 Megan is a daughter of poor widow Perkins.
 Most of the townspeople have these cute little hats and capes. I know they made the hats for another play sometime. During one rehearsal some were having issues with their hat ties coming off and so I had fun sewing them back on.
 The shoemaker and his wife after they have been blessed in turn bless the poor widow by giving her shoes.
 Excited about the new shoes!
 Because they were trying to find parts for all the kids who tried out they ended up having 7 elves (not all pictured here- only 5 were in the original script). The elves did a great job. Here they are rejoicing over the new clothes that they shoemaker and his wife made for them. I actually got to make a coat for one of the elves.
 A night scene. Megan and her family are hanging out on the spiral staircase - one of Megan's favorite parts of the set.
 Near the end Sneerella came back and demanded that she should get a pair of shoes free of charge. They had only some very weird running shoes that the elves had made. When she put them on she ran super fast and couldn't stop running.

 Mara made (with a little help from me) her jacket and bustier for her costume.
 Putting the shoes on.
 Here she comes running by. A guy wants to get her on his team for the Olympics and he also wants the shoemaker to make him a bunch more pairs of running shoes. That will provide jobs for their little town.

Jonathan also got involved by running the spotlight for the performances. He is enjoying learning a little more about that. He loves running our sound booth at church and has really gotten into videography and stuff like that and seems to really enjoy this experience.

They did 3 shows this last weekend and have 3 shows on Tuesday (for schoolchildren) and another 3 on Wednesday and then 3 more this weekend. We are trying to keep them well rested and healthy (Megan did struggle with a cold this weekend) in the mean time.

  And so that is what has been going on in our life lately. There are some dreams of future productions with maybe all of us - though probably not Mara as she will be heading on to other things - being a part of them. We shall see.

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