The theater bug that is! It was no mystery when my daughter was younger that she would love theater. She's loud. She's imaginative. She loves to perform and belt out tunes. Unfortunately, there weren't many theater opportunities in our early homeschooling years.
Things changed several years ago when some moms in my homeschool support group decided to try their hand at a homeschool production. The end result was fabulous and put any school production with similar aged kids to shame. Everyone loved the experience and the group has since turned out two more productions. While I knew my daughter would love theater, I was surprised to find out that my son did as well. This is the same boy who used to hide behind my legs and pretend he couldn't hear whenever an unfamiliar adult or child approached him.
Last fall the theater fever in our house continued to climb when my kids decided to branch out and audition with a local theater company. Every other year this youth theater invites children to audition for A Christmas Carol. I thought it would be a great experience to audition, but didn't expect my kids to get a role given the numbers who turn out for the parts. I was proven wrong when they both received parts. The shy quiet child played Tiny Tim!
A few weeks back the same theater group put out a casting call for their Little Women production and mentioned they would consider a homeschooled girl age 12-14 for one of the parts. Of course, my daughter was game. This audition was a bit different since adults were also trying out for the one part also open to children. The audition requirements were different as well. A monologue, resume and head shot were required in addition to preparing a song as last time. Also, there was only one part and some of the competition were friends.
The audition was on a Wednesday and my daughter was called back for Friday. Sadly, her friends didn't make the cut so she was torn with excitement and disappointment for them. The callback audition was 2 1/2 hours long and had more participants than expected, including another child for the same role. I was impressed at my daughter's confidence, despite knowing the odds. By the following Wednesday, she received a phone call offering the part of Amy. She held the huge smile throughout the conversation and followed with squealing and bouncing after the hang up.
Theater has been a wonderful experience for both of my children. It was been an outlet for my rambunctious child and a safe form of expression and confidence builder for my quieter child. My kids have learned much - from public speaking, presentation, dealing with mistakes, managing multiple commitments to team work. I highly recommend having your children try theater at least once.
Yep - I'm afraid this bug may now be chronic.