"It wasn't what we expected."
That's the best quote of the night from my MV Drama-Teens at intermission of the current KidsPlay production: "Attack of the Pom-Pom Zombies."
Last night was our "Dress to Impress", the night where we invite the kids' teachers and other special guests to 'preview' our performance so we can rehearse just once in front of a live audience before opening night. It's an important night to my young actors. It is a night for relearning what's funny about the show as we've long since stopped laughing at the humor of the script; it's a night for learning to adjust their brilliant comedic timing to crowd reaction and laughter.
The kids' teachers were there in force--their numbers continue to grow at these evenings--and our special guests were the Mt. Vernon Drama Teens with whom I'm now in rehearsal for "The Music Man".
It was an enlightening evening for this old director. It was a chance to see the remarkable--and I do mean remarkable--world in which I live through fresh eyes. We're a bit spoiled here, you see. We've set the bar high and we don't lower it for any reason. Consequently, we're used to our production values, and the quality of our performances, but for the most part, these teens had never seen a KidsPlay show. And clearly, it wasn't what they expected.
A few minutes into the show, I came down and sat in the aisle next to them, and watched. They laughed, they leaned forward, they pointed and talked amongst themselves. It was delightful to watch.
At intermission, I talked with them. They said: "This is great!" "It's SO funny!" "They're better than WE are!" "I'm gonna have to work on my expressions. Those kids have so much expression!" "I could hear every word they said!" "It wasn't what we expected."
Now, children. Don't let this go to your heads. We are but child-actors in a small-town theatre...a mere blip--if that--on the national entertainment registry. But...we ARE remarkable. The seriousness with which we take our craft, the detail that we put into a production, the mountain-movers we call the KidsPlay Machine, the hard work we put in--it does set us apart. It makes us unique.
KidsPlay is Greenfield's best-kept secret. We are a surprise, a delightful treasure, and we are NOT what people expect. So...if you haven't seen a KidsPlay show yet, come--Friday and Saturday at 7, Sunday at 2. "Attack of the Pom-Pom Zombies" at the Ricks Centre for the Arts. And expect the unexpected.