Thursday, June 23, 2011

Setting the Stage: Curtains!

One of my favorite sentiments from Dr. Jean Feldman is the time I heard her say, "In our rush to give children the things we never had, let us also remember to give them the things we did have." In my workshop presentations I address that very issue and expound on the concept by sharing the black & white pictures from my childhood scrapbook, saying, "I am so old, (how old are you?) I was born before they had invented color." Ba-ding, ching. I go on to say that I was from the era when we threw a blanket over a table and it was a submarine -- because we said it was a submarine. You didn't have to go to Walmart to purchase the submarine pack of do-dahs.

Imagine if you will, arriving at a time-share resort and exploring your new digs to find a huge garden-tub in the master bedroom suite. Just imagine the fun you could have with sea urchins if that same tub is seperated from the sleeping area with a set of hinged decorative shutters. VOILA! A stage. A stage complete with curtains!!! "Let's have a show!!"

Gather up all manner of fluffies and lovies and let's get this fun started!!! Our Daytona time included one entire 32 hour stint of down-pouring rain. Thank goodness GeeGee is a good audience for 'shows.' We got so elaborate that the lead actor began the hand-printing of tickets, complete with times and seat assignments. Imagine the good feelings that came flooding back when one of those precious writing exercises fell out of my stack of beach reads weeks later. 'Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.'

Parents. Teachers. Grand-parents. We give our children amazing power and gifts when we let them create from the raw ingrediants of nothing. I grew up with an active imagination. We took l-o-n-g car-crossing-the-country camping trips where the telling of stories and the singing-of-songs and the playing-of-games from road signs were the main attractions of the day. What we did have growing up was the opportunity to 'make believe' to write our own stories, to create our own skits, to continue our new songs by adding additional verses around the evening campfire.

Go retro. Be the first in your play group to have a day to go green. Be sure you take ample time this summer to turn off the screens, to disconnect from all of the technology at hand and to listen instead to the stories that are just awaiting being written. The twin gifts of creativity and imagination will fuel the heart & soul for years to come, when given the opportunity, sufficient time and an appreciative audience to stretch and grow in the hands of developing playrights.

P.S. That same garden-tub "stage" can be coerced into creating a perfect spot for shampoo and bubbles -- when absolutely necessary.

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