Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Drive-Home Moments" and a Farewell (for now)

We have decided to close down this old Blogspot-hosted blog. As you can see, it has been very quite around these parts of late. So, instead of trying to restart this blog, we’re going to take a step back and launch a new blog hosted on our website this summer.

Until then, check out our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter. But, for now, one last blog post to tide you over until the summer.

If you have ever listened to an NPR station during pledge week, you have probably heard them talk about “driveway moments.” You have NPR on in the car, and get so wrapped up in a story that when you get home you sit in the driveway to listen until the end. I’ve had a driveway moment or two myself.

But, at SCT, we like to talk about the “drive-home moments,” because we hear stories from our patrons year after year about the great conversations they have with their children on the way home from seeing a play at SCT. There is just something about live theatre in general, and the plays that SCT chooses to produce in particular, that inspires conversations between parents and kids that go way beyond the usual, “fine.”

This isn’t a concept we made up (though we did name it). We are fortunate enough to talk with our patrons on a regular basis, and this is what they have told us:

This show is as much for the parents as it is for the kids. We discussed the show in depth all the way home!

As always, it stimulated much conversation amongst the four of us with each of us.

This was a great example to our kids that anything can happen in "live" theater! Made for a great conversation piece.

My kids are still talking about the play and processing things that were important to them in it.

There were so many good messages in this play, and it initiated good conversation on the way home about the different messages it presented.

One of the things that we provide to families (other than enriching entertainment, a child-centered and safe zone, professional actors and production design) is the opportunity to have great conversations and a shared experience on which to build stronger relationships. We give families a drive home where there kids will answer their questions with more than “fine” and will have more to say that “I liked it.”

And I can’t imagine a better gift from us to you.

See you in the summer at our new blog home!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Teacher Talks About "Perô"

It has been far, far too long since we posted to this blog (we blame the holiday season and multiple show openings). But, thankfully, we received a letter from a teacher this weekend we had to share (with her permission, of course), which brought us back here once again. We promise, our absence will not be so lengthy again.

Dear SCT Staff,

I would like to express my great appreciation of your production of Perô. I took my 1st-3rd grade class to see it this past Thursday morning, and we were all absolutely thrilled with the experience.

The actors were clearly enjoying themselves, and put forth a beautiful and moving performance. There were quite a number of positive themes in the play which provided great lead-ins to teaching moments. One of the children brought up her surprise at seeing a divorce in a children's play (while not explicit, that a divorce had occurred was appropriately assumed by her.) I pointed out that while we don't mean to teach that divorce is necessarily good, we wouldn't want them to stay with someone who was really mean to them - look at how Paletino even threw a napkin at Columbina. Another child chimed in with my favorite comment - [it's teaching us] "we should think before we act." "Yes," I said, "especially when getting married."

Jennifer Sue Johnson and Matt Wolfe in Perô. Photo by Chris Bennion.

On your website it says that the set is not flashy. I think this comment does a disservice to your production - the set was incredible. In our present world of colorful chaos, it showed the power of pure black, grey and white. The set and costumes were elegant, intricate, cunningly constructed and beautiful. In reaching to the ceiling and behind the back curtain it enveloped the audience in experience. It's true that it acheived this without "flashy" sets, but I found that a strength. Perhaps you could say something like "the quiet elegance of the set of Perô highlights the beauty of its puppetry and focuses attention on the emotions of the characters in its approachable story"

Each year our school rents a theater for an evening so that our children can perform their own play on a real stage. We are a small school without the time or budget to construct a "flashy" or enormous set. Additionally, I feel that the focus of a children's drama production should be on the strength of the children's efforts, which can be easily upstaged by flashy sets. The set of Perô was amazing, yet comprehensible in its construction. A fitting inspiration for our own productions.

Lastly, thank you for the question and answer session at the end. Our children love that. Even more than the questions, they (and we) appreciate the opportunity for them to see the actors "out of character." It gives them a chance to observe how much the actors change their voice and mannerisms to create the character they play.

Thank you for a beautiful, memorable, and highly "teachable" performance.

Clary Lucero
Elementary Teacher, 1st - 3rd Grade

We may blush. Come and see "Perô" while you still can - the show closes on February 14. Tickets and info at