The Stage is Set
“Are we ready?”
“Where did my cane go?”
The life of two seven year olds and a five year old was never easy. It always seemed like there was soooooo much to remember. But as soon as we got onto that “stage” everything was forgotten and fun took over.
Some of the best times at my grandmas cottage were those once a year, Thanksgiving only, Granny Anne skits. These shows were day at a time productions. Just like a real play, we had costumes, set design, and story lines that sometimes spanned three or more “shows.” Every time a show was put on you could find my cousin Emmy, my brother Gregory, and I conspiring in the back room. No one was ever allowed in during those sessions.
Planning and Characters
To start off each play the three of us would sit down and think about what we wanted to do “on stage” and what characters would be involved. The main character, who was played by my cousin Emmy, (who now auditions and performs in real plays) was Granny Anne. Granny Anne was an old lady who always “forgot” things and made mistakes. Granny Anne was of course, based off of Grandma Betty… we weren’t that original.
Other characters, played by Gregory and I, included her grandkids and people around the neighborhood. Examples could be a cashier, the mailman, or a waitress. Each play Granny Anne would do something “wrong” and the other characters had to help her out.
Before we went on stage, every word was meticulously written down word for word. By the end, the page of script would be so damaged (arrows and cross outs everywhere) that it would have to be re-written. However, once it was done, we were ready to move on to the next stage in planning.
Costumes and Set Design
After the plot and characters were decided upon, it was time to find costumes and create background set design. Granny Anne (Emmy) always wore the same thing… a grey wig, Grandma Betty’s nightgowns’, slippers, and her trusty cane. But Gregory and I, depending on who are characters were, needed new costumes each play. I honestly can say that I had the most amazing and compassionate Grandma at these times.
Each time we were ready for a new play she would take us to the local re-sale shop to buy clothes and needed items for the backdrop. Dresses, suit coats, lamps, rugs, fake phones, shoes, pjs, and purses until we got everything that we needed. Grandma Betty would pay and we would load up the car to make the trip back to the cottage.
The real work was about to begin…