Generally I am not much of a theatre goer. I do love it when I am at the theatre but just never seem to get around to getting tickets. However, now as a homeschooling mother I feel I need to expose my children to great language. Because I never studied literature, I feel ill equipped to teach it. However I can definitely expose my children to the best theatre I can find. And they love it.
Last night we went to see Romeo and Juliet in the Hudson Valley. They had front row seats. They were drawn into the intense emotion and drama of the play and of course there is something for everyone... sword fighting, romantic love scenes, angry parents, wonderful music, stunning costumes. Generally the plays are long but they don't seem to mind. We went a couple of hours early and had a picnic with our homeschooling friends on that beautiful green lawn overlooking the Hudson. It was a truly glorious occasion.
When we were done, Claire wanted to go again to the same play. Me, not so much. I liked it but I want to see different things. I booked tickets to Love's Labours Lost, another production by the same company next week.
Now that Claire has started her literature program, I am looking to go to as many plays as I can where she will be exposed to the literature she is reading. We went to Pigmalion a of month ago and tonight we are going to Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat, a local production. She does love a good musical too! It was fun, perhaps a little cheesy with the Elvis impersonator, but definitely a crowd pleaser.
Now with auditions coming up for A Midsummer Nights Dream in September we are going to delve into that play. I will read a couple of primers with Tristan prior to reading the original and we will probably watch a BBC version of the play before we select an audition piece. I am curious to see which parts my kids will want to play.
They are realizing through all of this theatre going how important it is to use your whole face and body when portraying a character and we are going to be practicing that. Being believable. It is not easy. The depth of emotions experienced by the characters in a Shakespeare play is intense. It is hard to portray emotions you have never experienced. It is especially difficult surrounded by peers who might laugh at you. These are all good challenges.