This show has been moving, to say the least. It's about family, trials, love, loss, hope, connectivity, consequences, and many other things that we discover daily. Being an actor in this show that was created using Viewpoints and that has such deep and strong messages has helped me to understand the power that theatre can have, and has allowed me to share hope and love with my fellow actors and our audience with every performance.
Touring is golden. Being able to discuss themes that are real and meaningful and powerful with 9(ish) year olds is truly moving. When most children's theatre is loud and crazy and trying to keep their attention, ours is simple and powerful and talks about hard things. But these hard things are real things. These children that we talk to have experiences just as intense as Sadako's. I am continually amazed and heart-broken as the children open up and share with us and their class about their parent's having cancer, or their grandma dying from cancer. One little girl pulled me aside and told me she had epilepsy. I let her tell me as much as she wanted to, hugged her dear little body, thanked her for telling me, and had her write her wish for peace on her crane she had folded. She had a smile reaching from ear to ear. She just wanted to tell someone. She knows how Sadako felt in the hospital. What can be even more powerful is the moment we discuss with them what they can do to help others--to share peace. Seeing them really think and come up with meaningful ways that they personally can contribute in the classroom, at home, or to the world, is when my heart fills with hope for these children.
There is so much more to say. So many moments of beauty. Like the night when a man who had been interned brought his wife, and some of his children and grandchildren and they folded cranes to send to the peace park in Hiroshima. Like when our cast sings a hymn together and someone shares a scripture and testifies of Christ before our performance and we pray together to share in the best way we can. Like every performance when I (as Mrs. Watanabe) hand Sadako her mask and invite her to join us in the Spirit world and I heal from my own wounds by helping a little girl feel the love of her Heavenly Father and the Great Atoning Sacrifice of her Savior.
That's what it's all about and how grateful I am to know what I know and have this opportunity to share it.
check out athousandcranes.net :)