As soon as the quarantine started to lift, all of the local parents were desperate for our kids to get more social engagement and activity enrichment. In swooped our favorite teacher. She normally teaches the preschoolers and does Spanish lessons for the older kids. However, she had the brilliant idea to start a drama class and put on a play. We never knew that this is exactly what AJC needed. He is a theatre kiddo through and through. After months of bi-weekly practice and a lot of hard work, the kids had their performance this weekend. It was a spectacular, heart-warming event.
They put on a production of Cinderella. Every kiddo had an important part. AJC played the role of Prince Charming. PJC, who normally has shunned the idea of any type of performance, was coaxed into participating by being promised that he could play any role he wanted. He chose a dragon, and therefore, a dragon role was written into the play to accommodate him. He had the important job of pulling the carriage which he took in which he took ownership and pride. He also fell in love with his cardboard wings and his shirt that his teacher tie-dyed for him to look like lava and dragon scales.
Throughout the entire process, AJC amazed us with his enthusiasm. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, he would exclaim, “I have theatre after school!” He took pride in learning his lines and was very determined to look the part- even not letting me cut his hair so it would be long enough to slick back with gel. Doing this play isn’t enough for him. He has a whole roster of Disney stories that he wants to perform (the first being Aladdin and he’s already memorized the words to “One Jump. He practices the choreography by running around the house jumping on furniture).
The kids worked diligently crafting the sets, designing the costumes, making the tickets, and running a snack booth. They even had the cutest activities to occupy the audience during set changes. Each parent seat had a balloon. When there was a pause in the play, we took turns popping our balloons and doing the crazy task written on a slip of paper inside (“bust a move” “sing bippity boppity boo,” etc).
Throughout the night, each kid was euphoric with self-confidence, creativity, and the sense of accomplishment. For the parents, it was a magical night to witness our kids thrive in this environment. It reinforced our gratitude for being able to raise our kids in a place that allows them to stay children, celebrate their creativity, and also have these special experiences.
There was a lot of build up to the performance, but AJC is ready to move on to the next production. I think everyone else needs a bit of a break, but hopefully he will eventually realize his dream of playing Aladdin. Until then, he will continue doing parkour around the house while singing show tunes.