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