Thursday, April 24, 2014

Being in the NOW...and Loving It!

Today, I spent the day, the entire day, in Charlotte, seeing two
plays, productions of the Children's Theatre of Charlotte. Oh, yes,
there were many things, so very many things, I could have been
doing here at home...like cleaning the basement...or working in
the yard...or doing laundry...or balancing my checkbook...but I
chose- yes, CHOSE- to immerse myself in imagination and wonder
and fantasy and joy and the laughter of children...to be actively
present in the NOW of what was happening onstage. And it so
filled me with pleasure that I will be borne along on the feeling
for many days to come.

Of course, it helps that my son, Mark, was involved with both
productions. He created the amazing owl puppets for "The Owl
who Was Afraid of the Dark" and worked with the actors who
were bringing them to life onstage. And he was the voice of and
brought life to the huge "Reluctant Dragon", an amazing creation
which took four actors to manipulate and animate. Both of the
performances today were school shows, with the audience made

up of children from area schools and their teachers. I was clearly
the only "elder" in the audience and drew more than a few looks
from the kids as they filed past where I was sitting, I'm sure
wondering just what this white-haired, grandmotherly-looking
woman was doing there. But part of the enjoyment for me was
seeing and hearing their responses to both shows...with the
actors eliciting from their young charges true involvement in
the stories unfolding before them.

I love live theater. Indeed, there is nothing like it...and as much
as I enjoy films, I am totally enthralled by a live performance in
which there can be no second takes, no do-overs...where the
actors are giving fully of themselves to the audience, over and
over and over again in performance after performance, the lines
they are speaking from memory being enhanced by deep emotion,
by deeper commitment to bringing their characters to life. It is
far more than entertainment for me...for them, too. It is a way
of connecting with the deepest places in the hearts and minds of
their audiences...of reminding us that we are indeed part of the
same humanity and that we share so much of the human
experience.

Do I think for a minute my young fellow-audience members
were thinking such deep and profound thoughts? Not at all. But
being exposed to the magic- and there is no other word for it-
the MAGIC of live theater is something which will enrich them
in ways no other form of entertainment can. So thank you,
dear Mark and all of your compatriots in the cast, for giving me
such a beautiful, joy-filled, magical day. Just imagine that you
are seeing the smile on my face for the next several days.




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