As third-graders, Jack and Anna had the entire play open to them. Shortly after they auditioned, the director e-mailed me to see if they would be willing to play Tweedledee and Tweedledum. She liked the idea of having twins in the role and thought they would be perfect. Jack hadn't sung at his audition and the role involved a song, so she wanted to make sure he'd be willing to sing and that they were both willing to work together. They were excited about the idea, although there was some fighting about who had to be Tweedledum. Jack lost.
Like most of Alice and Wonderland, their part was a lot of nonsensical nonsense. They had a very long song (4:30) with speaking parts before and after the song. In total, it was about a 7-minute performance. It was a difficult role and it took a lot of practice. Essentially, the song involves telling Alice the story of the Curious Oysters as the Walrus (Jack) and the Carpenter (Anna), so it was almost like a part within a part. The Walrus and Carpenter lure some oysters out of their oyster bed with the promise of adventure and then the Walrus eats them all and the Carpenter gets mad. The moral being that curiosity can lead to trouble (and, the oysters should have listened to their mother!).
Rehearsals at school started in January. Initially, they all had practice once a week, and then the frequency increased for Jack and Anna's group. About a month before the play, we started really working on it at home. The song has a lot of instrumental sections and the cues for them to sing weren't always obvious. Plus, they had to figure out what to do during those instrumental moments. In the movie, there is a cartoon interlude showing all the action of the walrus, carpenter and oysters. But, they had to find a way to communicate it to the audience. I'm not going to lie--it was a mess in the beginning. I was worried. But, like everything else, lots of practice turned the tide. By the day of the show, they were awesome!!!
Meanwhile, Kara had perfected the soldier's march and song and was ready to go. I also had a role in the play--on the scenery committee. It was a committee of three. We met once or twice a week and took projects home in the interim. The head of the committee (who happened to be Alice's mom) was a true artist. Honestly, she did about three times as much as I did. But, it was still a major time commitment on my part. It was also a commitment for Thomas, since it meant many nights he came home from work, got dinner ready, fed all four kids and then had to drag everyone out to Jack's baseball or Kara's soccer. My biggest project was probably making giant paper flowers. I did it at home and it probably took me about 5-6 hours to make 16 flowers (that includes watching many YouTube tutorials).
|Some of my giant flowers. These decorated the flower garden risers.|
|A few more flowers|
|Two stars are born!|
|Anna's favorite part was probably hitting Jack with her carpenter's hammer :)|
Kara also performed perfectly. She sang and painted the roses red and did the card soldiers march with aplomb. We were very proud parents!
|Card soldiers shouldn't smile!|
|Painting the roses red (those boxes were another scenery project).|