I cannot for the life of me remember which play I saw first. I’ve only seen a handful of plays in my life, and you’d think they would bank easily in my memory, but they don’t. No more than the circuses I’ve been to, or the movies I’ve seen. The four I can remember seeing are great plays, though, and I would strongly recommend them. The fifth I cannot recall the name of, but I know when I saw it.
- Alice in Wonderland
- Mask of the Red Death
- The Emperor’s New Clothes
I think I saw Alice in Wonderland first, but I’m not entirely sure. I think that was in second grade. I remember sitting in the audience, ignoring everyone else as the pretty woman on stage ran from fake door to fake door, and marveling at the way they made her change from “normal” to “big” to “small”. They swirled people around her with streamers of cloth while the curtain fell behind her, only to draw the curtain back and reveal HUGE DOORS to make her seem tiny, or tiny doors to make her seem larger than life. I think I was in first or second grade when this happened, as I associate it with a trip to the Circus, and a guy named Joshua saying he hoped we’d see a guy stick his head in a lion’s mouth 99 times.
The Mask of the Red Death has associated with it a memory of a guy named Nicholas tossing me a book, and his girlfriend running at me to get it. She tripped, fell on her knees, and slid into my crotch face first. In one of the rare “cool” comments I’ve ever been able to pull off with a girl, I looked at her and said, “Well, while you’re down there…” – Which makes me think I was in 8th grade at the time, living in Rockaway Beach. I had a crush on that girl, and we flirted a bit. It drove Nick insane, and made our already tenuous friendship practically non-existent. I was particularly fond of this play because the “Red Death” was a character wandering around, touching people on the shoulder. It wasn’t until we were discussing it on the bus that I realized that was just a visual indicator of the “Red Death” (a plague of some kind) killing the guests.
The Rumpelstiltskin play would have had to take place between these two, or just prior to Alice in Wonderland. I remember this play because they asked for audience participation. While the spinner was spinning straw into gold, sections of the audience were supposed to make certain sounds. This had Rumpelstiltskin very likable, even though he wanted the woman’s firstborn. The same guy who played Rumpelstiltskin ran backstage after the show, and reappeared as the Emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes. Both of these stories had been told to us by our teacher before we went; we’d read them in class the week or two before.
The last play I saw was in Washington DC on my Senior Trip. We stopped somewhere for “Dinner Theater”, and we got to watch a play of some sort while we were eating. It was a lot of fun, but overpriced since the food was bad and the service was poor. But I think I’d like to do something like that again when my friends visit next month. I enjoy watching plays, and I never get a chance to do so anymore. (And by that, I mean I never make the time to do so anymore.)