What the Dickens!
Last weekend, I had a new cultural experience. One of my former students at Prairie Creek keep up his end of a long-time deal and took my son, Miles, and me to a Monster Truck rally at the Metrodome. Although somewhat baffled by the whole big truck thing, it was hugely entertaining to watch the faces of those around me as Maximum Destruction ploughed it’s way though various obstacles.
Parents, you’ve all done it. At a play, movie or perhaps a sporting event, you find yourself watching the changing expressions on your children’s faces rather than watching the event itself. There’s just something immensely rewarding and gratifying about observing those we care about enjoy and react to the unfolding events in front of them.
That’s how I felt at The Guthrie production of A Christmas Carol that I attended with 65 ARTech students and several staff last Wednesday. It was a marvellous performance, that brought Dicken’s words to life with great wit and flair. Sitting in the midst of our middle school students (we had fantastic front and center seats), it was a delight to watch the ARTech audience grin and gasp, chortle and cheer. I left the Guthrie reminded once again of the power of theater, and very much in the holiday spirit.
Bob has carefully organized the Arts’ calendar to fit the learning that is taking place throughout the year. The day after the Guthrie visit, Karl Amundson an eigth grader at the Northfield Middle School stopped by morning to talk about his experience playing the role of Bob Cratchit’s oldest son in the play. Karl spent 45 minutes with our students giving an insight into the challenges and rewards of being part of a major production like this.
This coming week, the Guthie production will be compared and contrasted by a very different performance at the Commonweal Theater in Lanesboro. Actors from the Commonweal will also visit ARTech to conduct a workshop. It’s a real feast of theater and gives great life to the integrated theme centered on the Victorian era. We’re grateful to have Bob (Gregory-Bjorklund, not Cratchit) bringing his theater connections and experience to our school. I’ve not idea where the fella gets his energy from. Right now he’s conducting rehearsals for The Rock and Roll Revival, planning Arts for Martin and reminding students about the Particularly Short Play Festival.
If you haven’t seen the Guthrie performance of A Christmas Carol, I suggest you see if tickets are still available and place it high on your list of things to do this coming holiday. Failing that, there’s always a monster truck rally…