What made today unique was the audience. First through third graders eager to have fun and loving every minute of their “field trip,” filed early through the exhibits and sat on the floor eating up every word I had to say. My monologue, one man show and even the interactive conversations I have with adults when I portray Crowe went out the window, as the conversation became about a black lab whose real name is no longer PC (his grave was paved over a few years back by the Park Service due to complaints from visitors who did not understand that his name was “black” in Spanish). I also led a conversation and question and answer between the kids and the talking old man machine. You should have seen their eyes.
It brought me back to my years of doing children’s theater, with Rainbow Company here in Las Vegas, with traveling theater in the Rockies and back in Chicago. I remember having adults remember me as the world’s tallest Rumplestiltskin back when they were kids. I still have young adults call me “Wayland” after the Viking Wayland in “Waylands Sword” at Rainbow Company. Surprisingly when I am playing a character my six foot four, 270 plus size does not intimate even the smallest smiling face. It felt good.
On to performances for older kids, adults and the hardest test, for surviving actual 31ers who worked on the dam and their descendants.
Published Wednesday October 7, 2009