I was first surprised when I found how much both the kids and I were enjoying it. No community theater is not Broadway, but I challenge anyone on Broadway to come up with half the quality of set design and costumes with the shoe string budget our little community theater has! The director has amazed me too--taking my very shy, Dino and bringing home on the stage to perform, taking my lovely girls and showing them the magic that happens when you step on stage and the audience claps. I could go on but I am sure you get the point!
But even if these things were not there, this experience would be worth it. For a reason I did not see until we spent hour after hour with the older children in the green room. The real feel of community.
The older, more seasoned performers seem to take on a natural, loving, older sibling role to the younger, less experienced cast members. I have looked around the room and seen the prince (a middle schooler) sit down and chat with Dino about whatever, the King (an amazingly talented senior) calm down a crying Spanky telling him 'one day I tell you, you will be king', one of the wives gently fixing Sarah's wig, and another wife sitting and telling jokes with pre-schoolers. And that is just the tip of ice burg! There is so much encouragement and love from the older kids to the younger and vice versa. No one thinks they are 'better' or 'too good' to settle down and hang out with the different age groups. They hang out together and have a good time! I don't know if it theater magic or the community feel that seems to radiate in everything there--whatever it is, I wish I could bottle it and share it with the world.
Chatting with another parent, he made the following comment regarding the older children, "I can only hope my children will act that way when they are older."
I could not agree more.
And now--back to the green room!