Sunday, October 15, 2006

Away to the Chocolate Factory

Yesterday afternoon I took Hatfield and Atticus to see a children's theatre production of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" at St. Norbert College. The play was set in one of the smaller theatres, and we were lucky enough to have 2nd row seats which put us on eye-level with the actors.

Prior to the play's beginning, the director came out and explained to the young children in the audience that they shouldn't talk during a real play, because unlike a movie theatre, the actors in a play can hear the audience members and become distracted. However, he was quick to note, actors LOVE it when the audience laughs and LOVE it when the audience claps.

The entire audience, my kids included, did really well with these guidelines except for one moment involving Mrs. Teevee and Atticus. At one point in the play, Mrs. Teevee becomes so exasperated with her son Mike that she says, "Oh just shut up!" Atticus loudly gasped and proclaimed, "Oh no, that's a naughty word!" I quicky clasped my hand over my son's mouth and whispered "Shh!" to him while members of the audience chuckled around us. For a moment I was a bit embarrassed, but then when it sunk in that they used such a phrase in a children's play, my only thought was, "Well, it serves the director right."

That moment aside, the three of us had a great time and Atticus was just entranced with the "chocolate river" (a huge rectangular piece of shimmery brown cloth that spanned the back of the stage, held in place and gently shook by two off-stage stagehands). Hatfield loved the three cute Oompa Loompas, one of whom is a 6th grader at her school. We look forward to seeing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever this December, and Treasure Island next spring!

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