Elephant and Piggie – What I Learned

Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” ,Quincy Community Theatre, June 2018

Yesterday at QCT, we closed our sold out run of Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” I had a wonderful time working on this charming, energetic piece by Mo Willems and Deborah Wicks La Puma. If you missed it, I just uploaded some production photos to the Photos slideshow and the flickr stream.

Now that the show is over and strike is complete, I’m taking the time to look back at what I learned from directing this show.

First of all, this process was yet another lesson that my students are capable of anything. This piece was written for adult performers, and the script and score are full of challenges, but these kids never backed down.  Their portrayals of these beloved characters were joyful, detailed, and filled with possibility.  They were pretty great.

Secondly, it was a real treat to work with the creative team to prepare this play as a sensory-friendly performance.  We’re lucky that many members of our community – Quincy Medical Group, College for Life, the Quincy Area Autism Support Group – were willing and able to be great resources while we researched and prepared this unique performance.  I learned a lot, and was very glad to be able to share this production with audience members on the autism spectrum or other sensory sensitivities.  The big thing I learned is that modifications we made – like the pre-show guide, the quiet chill room, and lowered lighting and sound levels – opened up options for many members of our community.  We had lots of audience members, young and old, who attended their first ever play this weekend.  I’m very glad I got to share that experience with them.

This week I’m preparing for our summer classes – including the 11th annual Triple Threat Boot Camp – but I’m glad to take a moment to reflect on this very sweet show.  It was quite a ride.

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