Saturday, November 14, 2009
It's late Saturday night and TeenTuna just wrapped another show. Her November offering was the High School production of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. The cast did Mr. Miller proud, as they depicted the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 with the appropriate faux-Satanic hysteria coupled with a goodly amount of Puritan stiff-necked logic and demeanor. TeenTuna played the role of Betty Paris, whom we often described as "possessed girl #1" and did a great job of both laying in a dead faint and the suddenly screaming accusations, calling for her mama, and trying to crawl out a window.
Just another manic Monday, as the song goes.
Possessed teenage girls aside (seems too easy, doesn't it?), I was quite impressed at how these kids were able to present real depth of character within the confines of very little stage movement and next to no arm motions, as novice actors are wont to do. It's a tough play. It's very very VERY wordy in an unfamiliar 1692 kind of way, and deals with complex issues above and beyond witches, which, in the context of normal teenage life would most likely be reenacted as a Monty Python sketch.
One of the many reasons this show was selected was for its educational opportunities, including themes centering on early American history, classical American literature, contemporary American history, government, law, sociology, religion and ethics to name just a few. Those witches...they had something for everyone!
So tonight was closing night, and after the hugs from friends and family, and the pictures with ... everyone, GramTuna and I waited for TeenTuna. When she finally came out of the dressing room (last. again. ugh) she had morphed from Betty Parris, 10-year old Puritan girl wearing black and gray and .. more black, to her normal teenage attire, complete with jeans, a multicolored scarf and large metallic dangly earrings in the shape of a frog. Her accessories, as usual, were a camera and the all-important cellphone. Lest you think she was totally sucked up into the weightiness of the moral dilemmas of the show, she got into the car with her friend, giggled and whispered in the back seat, and recited one of the touchstone lines from the play over and over and over again.
And now, she's at the cast party, fully assumed back into the life of a High School Sophomore, and I'm at home, here on the computer, doing everything necessary to stay awake until it's time to fetch her from the cast party. The performances may be over, but I'm so pleased for her that she got an opportunity to experience this show from an actor's perspective and learn so much about so many things from a student's perspective.
What a lucky kid.
Even better? She just sent me a text and asked me to come pick her up. What a lucky mom!!