Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Footloose in midsummer

This past summer I decided it was time to introduce Mariana to a classic. Well, not exactly a classic, but a movie that defined my generation. Well, maybe not exactly my whole generation but it did define the culture in which I grew up. A movie that will forever be known as my all-time favorite movie. Well, not exactly my favorite movie, but one with which I was able to relate. The movie, for those of you who don't find the answer obvious, is Footloose. You know, the one where the town won't let the kids dance because dancing stimulates the lust of the flesh. Oh wait, that's the town where I grew up. The movie is about the town that can't dance because of a horrible accident that happened several years prior. The town's response was to ban all sorts of things. Wait, now I'm really mixing up my stories. Was that the movie or my town? Or both?

Anyway, Mariana and I enjoyed this wonderful movie together and at the end, while I was sighing a deep sigh of contentment, my daughter announced, "That was the cheesiest movie I've ever seen." See if I ever watch a movie with you again!

So it has taken several months but I finally decided that it was time to introduce her to another movie that defines me. The movie which contains the role I was destined to fill. The role that brought out the best in me. The role where I received such wonderful reviews. The role that came about because we couldn't dance because dancing stimulates the lust of the flesh (stick with me here, there is a connection). This movie, for those who don't find the answer obvious, is A Midsummer Night's Dream.

And how, you ask, is A Midsummer Night's Dream related to dancing? In my high school, as in Footloose, dancing was forbidden. As I have already established, it stimulates the lust of the flesh (seriously, folks, if I had a quarter for every time I heard that phrase while I was growing up, I'd be able to afford dance lessons to make up for my lack of skill in this area). The lack of dancing would be quite a problem at prom so we didn't have a prom. Instead we had a junior-senior banquet. In actuality, it was a great idea. The juniors would put on a play, decorate the cafeteria in a theme taken from the play's setting, and the juniors and seniors would enjoy dinner and a show, prom-style. Without the dancing. Because it stimulates the lust of the flesh.

So, my junior year, the chosen play was A Midsummer Night's Dream, an ambitious quest for a group of high schoolers. And we weren't happy about it. What teenager really wants to put on a Shakespeare production? But we learned so much from that experience. Well, I'll speak for myself. I learned so much from that experience. I believe it was preparation for 20 years down the road when I'd be asked to walk around church in a red wig and Cyndi Lauper style clothes, even though at the time I had never even heard of Mechanicsburg, PA or John King for that matter. KidStuf hadn't been invented yet. Come to think of it, Children's Church really hadn't been invented yet.

But back to the topic. So, A Midsummer Night's Dream it was. Not exactly your typical conservative community entertainment. So we had to put a play-by-play in the program for those not familiar with the language or style of Shakesperean drama. And the seniors were so upset that the play included in their ticket price was Elizabethan, that many of them left after dinner. Before they got to see little ole me dressed up in a bright red ice skating skirt with matching tights and a glittered face. Oh well, it was their loss. Thankfully the community was a little more ambitious and did come to the following public performances. And they were wowed by that little Puck in the bright red skirt and tights (and little did they know that it's usually played by a male).

I tried to introduce Mariana to this classic by showing her the old videotape of our high school production but alas, the video was broken. Probably a good thing. The quality wouldn't have given it a proper showing. It was an unsual set, though, with scaffolding and ladders. And fairies on roller skates. You don't see that every day. Nor do you see your mother doing gymnastics for Shakespearean drama, wearing a bright red skirt and tights with matching glitter on her face. Yes, best to keep that video broken.

So we rented a different version from Netflix. I didn't have great hopes. What 12 year old likes Shakespeare? Fewer numbers than we found in the senior class when I was a junior, I bet. But what a trip back in time it was for me! Despite lying facedown on the massage table, or maybe because of it, I was transported to a school auditorium in the 80s. My mind could see each classmate, in costume, in his/her appropriate place on stage. I could hear their voices. I could feel the glitter on my face. In fact, I could even feel it in my contacts. Only I don't wear contacts anymore. Nevermind, it was still painful. And I bet if we still had the same family car, we'd still be finding glitter between those seats.

Well, imagine my surprise in finding that my 12 year old loves to watch Shakespeare? She gets it. She didn't call it cheesy! And she's not just pretending (remember, she needs to give me a massage to watch a movie so there's a cost involved for her, she could give up on it if she hated it). She even laughs at the appropriate places! I do need to remember that this is the daughter who chose Shakespeare as her summer topic of study a few years back (one of the perks of having a former-teacher for a mother is that you have to choose a summer topic of study - and you actually have to study it). She loved that, too, so I should have been prepared.

But what exactly do you do with a daughter who enjoys Shakespeare? I believe that is the question of the hour. One to ponder while I travel back to the lines of my youth (minus the bright red skating skirt and matching tights).

"If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends."
-Puck's closing lines in
A Midsummer Night's Dream

1 comment:

  1. Can we get some High resolution version of those pictures?