First, let me make sure you have the link to see a livestream of “America!” tomorrow, Friday morning, Friday evening, and/or Saturday evening. Here’s the link and a poster. With one fee of $5 per household, you may watch one performance or all four.
After a week of practice on Zoom, I was happy to head to the theater on Monday for in person play practice. Ray snapped my picture before I got in the car with my purse, my camera, a healthy lunch in Ray’s Rock City lunch bag (held sideways to prevent a spill), an eyelet skirt for an immigrant from Poland, a vest for a Basque immigrant, and a bag of toys for grandchildren too young to be in the play.
A few years ago, I was playing Ring Around the Rosie with our grandchildren. Every time we all fell down, one of our grandsons would say, “Again! Again! Again!” I love the rhythm of play practice every year. I love that I’ve gotten to do it again and again and again. I love:
The drive in with our daughter and her children.
Piling out of the car and carrying in miscellaneous props, lunches, water bottles, costume pieces . . .
Watching mothers and children arrive at the theater and sharing greetings.
The prayer to begin.
The children shouting every day (on three): “To God Be the Glory!”
The children’s faces with self-confidence or apprehension or joy or attentiveness.
The mishaps that make all the children laugh.
Older siblings helping younger siblings.
Remembering how adorable that mature and accomplished teen actor was in his or her first plays five or six years before.
The mothers’ questions: “What do you think about his shoes?” “Should she wear her hair in braids?”
The mothers’ assurances: “We’re getting her tights this afternoon.” “I’m going to look for a hat at Goodwill. I’ll send you a picture.”
The excitement when the children receive this year’s play T-shirts.
The moment that happens every year when a scene brings tears to my eyes during practice.
A child coming by at the end of a practice to say, “Goodbye, Miss Charlene,” like Molly did yesterday.
One blessing of the Homeschool Dramatic Society is the opportunity for mamas and children to be together and work together.
HDS productions spend only two weeks in practice. Families receive their scripts and recordings of the songs well in advance. Cast members are expected to know their parts the first day of practice. The first acting coaches the children have are their own mamas and daddies.
Our daughter who directs these plays requires mothers of actors under the age of 14 to accompany their children to every practice. Children under the safe watch of their very own mothers–that’s God’s design. It’s one of the reasons that the Homeschool Dramatic Society works. One of the joys of being a mother is having children who want you again and again and again.
Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.