Our girls had their theatrical debut yesterday. It would have been fun if it was Rodgers and Hammerstein musical or something, but no -they performed Greek tragedy in Oedipus the King. They were Antigone and Ismene, Oedipus’s daughters.
Just to be honest, they didn’t win over anyone with a spectacular audition to get the coveted roles, no instead they were given the roles when their Dad was in a faculty meeting last spring and the Department Chair announced there was a travelling group coming and performing Oedipus.
Dept Chair: They need 2 sisters between the ages of 5 and 10. Anyone know any girls those ages?
Mike: Um… I have 2 daughters those ages.
And just like that they were given the parts. And just like that we kind of forgot about it for a while. We even forgot to tell the girls before they went to school that they would be performing that day. So they were surprised when I checked them out early from school so the could attend their first and last rehearsal before showtime. Kaitlyn said, “Do I get to wear my Halloween costume?” I said, “No, Kaitlyn, they have a costume for you.” “Ah nuts! I wanted to wear my witch costume.” But her costume wasn’t too bad.
When we met the director she asked me, “Do the girls know the story?”
Me: No. No they don’t. (Incest and self-inflicted maiming usually don’t make for good bedtime stories)
Director to the girls: Well this play is about this man who did something really really bad. So he punished himself by gouging his eyes out.
Then she introduced them to the actor playing Oedipus and said, “This is who plays your father. When you see him next his eyes will look really red and bloody. Run to him as if you want to hug him and can’t wait to see him”.
Kaitlyn and Abby: [blank stares] (they were probably thinking whaaaat??????)
Their rehearsal went well. I was nervous about how Kaitlyn would do. She was the youngest girl the actors have had to work with but they kept saying, “She’s so little and cute! I don’t know if I can keep a straight face!”
The girls’ part was at the end of the play. It lasted just a few minutes. They had to run out screaming, “Father! Father!” while the chorus members held them away from Oedipus. Fortunately they have no problem projecting their voices and running isn’t too hard so it worked out.
Mike and I sat in the green room with the girls and watched the play on the monitor from there. While waiting for their time to go on, Abby worked on homework and Kaitlyn played games on the tablet.
While they were on stage, I tried to get a picture of them on the monitor. You can’t really see them so I added arrows to help.
If you’re wondering where Sam was this whole time, he was sent to a friend’s house. He wanted to see the show, but we said, “No you don’t. We’ll show you pictures later.”
Kaitlyn has told me today about how the Oedipus actor had paint all over this eyes. She didn’t like it. She had to hold his hand for the curtain call and she didn’t really want to. She said she did it anyway because she didn’t want to hurt his feelings. Well, Oedipus is a start. Maybe next time they will get plucked for a happy musical instead.