Thursday, November 18, 2010

A star is born

Yesterday was the big event: Opening night for the kindergarten-through-second-grade drama club production of "What Teachers Can't Do."

I guess, technically, it was opening afternoon. And closing afternoon, for that matter. I don't think "What Teachers Can't Do" will extend its run, which is unfortunate. It's not often that one encounters a play that explains so powerfully and beautifully that, yes, there are some things that teachers can't do. Also, there were free cookies at the end.

The kids acted out each page from the book, and they took turns playing the teachers and the students. The kids had decided that the teachers they were playing were their own homeroom teachers. The play opened with WCK writing on a chalkboard (actually, it was a big dry-erase board).

"WCK, tell us which teacher you are," prompted Miss Drama Club Teacher.


Huge laugh from the audience.

"But aren't you Mrs. NameOfYourHomeroomTeacher?" asked Miss DCT.

"Eh," shrugged WCK. "Sure."

She went back to writing on the chalkboard. Another huge laugh. She was not going to break character for anything.

I'd say the highlight of her performance was a scene in which two characters were supposed to be having a conversation on a playground, illustrating the dramatic point that teachers can't go down the twisty slide. It went something like this:

KID ONE: You should go down the twisty slide.
KID TWO: No, I can't.
KID ONE: You really should go down the twisty slide.
KID TWO: No, I really can't.

Meanwhile, WCK was acting the part of a child jumping rope on the playground, leaping exuberantly behind the two main actors and grinning at the audience. Scene stealer!

So, the play went well, and the teacher let us know that there will be another four-week drama club session starting sometime after Christmas, and the kids will work on an all new play. I can't wait to find out what it will be. King Lear? A Streetcar Named Desire? Les Miserables? I will keep you posted in January.

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