Kids are great. Really, really adorable little humans-becoming. They inspire us to be better people. And almost all of the time we succeed. We’re kinder, wiser, more giving and patient just because they exist. We teach through example and see our wee-tinys follow suit.
And then there’s the dreaded time of day when all of that goodwill and higher evolution collapses around us. Yes, I mean daily. At the ragged end of every single day there’s…bedtime. And yes some of our best memories are going to come from the quality time shared with our young folks; fortunately, those are the memories that stick. But then there is the reality of the battle waged and eventually won, but still quite the battle fought almost every night: “Pick up your toys, put on your jammies, brush your teeth, and quiet down, please.” Yes early in the battle, “please” and “thank you” pass our lips, but sometimes those sweet munchkins outlast us. Oh that energy–wish it could be bottled. The fearful determination of the child NOT to go to bed. The single-mindedness, the creativity, the passion, the awesome power of will; all of these would be so better served later in life turned to homework or chores, saving the planet, brokering world peace, but, alas, no, it’s the fight against the dreaded bedtime. Sure eventually they surrender, then it’s time for the bliss of cuddling, reading bedtime stories, singing lullabies, hugs & kisses—the good memories.
Well South Carolina Children’s Theatre (www.scchildrenstheatre.org) is bringing this epic adventure to the stage for all those wee people out there as part of their WEE PLAY THEATRE series. GO TO BED, LITTLE RACCOON! will open August 22 and provide an opportunity for young kits (that’s a baby raccoon, for those of you who may be unfamiliar) and their caregivers to help get Little raccoon to bed. Traysie Amick, a well-known upstate actress and SCCT’s Principal Teaching Artist not only stars as Mother Raccoon, but she also wrote this play. Traysie last year graced the stage as The Cat in the Hat as part of SCCT’s mainstage season, and continues to tour each Fall to Upstate elementary schools in a Bullying prevention play. Last year she played Mama Bear in the first offering of WEE PLAY THEATRE, The Teddy Bears’ Picnic and after ten sold-out performances, 16 more were added. Clearly there was an interest in parents (or grands) and children experiencing a show for the very young. So Traysie wrote this new one for the upcoming season.
Traysie also enlisted the artistic talent of Michelle Jewell, a Charleston based mixed fiber artist most known for her handcrafted toys featured at the Indie Craft parade locally as well as at The Land of Nod online. Her Finkelstein’s Center http://finkcenter.com/ has been crafting individual toys since 2010 and she has quite a following, not only with kids but with hipsters in NYC too. She has put her hand (and creative eye) to the creation of the puppets featured in the bedtime story segment of the show.
WEE PLAY THEATRE provides a safe theatre experience – no black outs and no loud sound effects. The play actually starts in the lobby, and the children are introduced to the characters in a completely non-frightening way. The audience sits together, parents with children, on soft carpets (there are some chairs for those who find the floor a little too far away) and no one is expected to stay still or quiet during the show. The young audience members actually help throughout the show and get to play with many of the props and costumes presented on the stage. Interactive fun for the smalls and a great chance to participate and make some good memories WITH your child for the talls.
Three advanced-level SCCT students will rotate thru the role of Little, a young raccoon kit who has to learn the routine of getting ready for bed. James Riedy, Loren Clark & Kelsey Wong have received training thru the Theatre Arts Conservatory at SCCT which last year served over 1,500 students and now bring that training (both in performing and working with teeny people) to the stage as the adorable but headstrong Little.
Shows are early in the day – after all, Raccoons are nocturnal! But with a little luck, some of the lessons learned together can be shared come your child’s bedtime. Don’t delay, this show is sure to be a hit!
Guest blogging for fête.