A few weeks ago my school did our annual Playtime Poppy performance. Playtime Poppy is an ear-of-corn. She is basically considered the “mascot” for our local Children’s Theater shows. I have been involved in these shows all three years of high school so far, and hopefully I have one more show left next year.
These shows always mean a lot to me because I was once that little five-year-old sitting in the audience watching all of those “big kids!” It is hard for me to remember those days because they were such a long time ago. My grandma and I made it a tradition for many years to go to all three Playtime Poppy shows a year. These were great bonding times for us, and we always had a good time. It is surreal for me to be on stage and even sometimes INSIDE the costume of someone I used to look up to so much.
I have mentioned in previous blogs that I absolutely love the thrill of being on stage and taking on another persona for a couple of nights. Playtime Poppy shows are always the best because of the interaction that goes on between the cast and the audience. Throughout the show we periodically TALK to the kids. For example, we will say: “Is EVERYONE here?” Then the next thing you know, there are over 600 kids screaming “YES!!!!!” at you at the same time. It is so exciting to know that they are all here to see you and to have fun watching you!
After every show, the cast goes out to the cafeteria to sign the programs of the audience members. This is my FAVORITE part of every show because the little kids that come up to you are so precious. We ask them a variety of questions such as, “Are you excited for Christmas?” “What are you asking for from Santa?” “What’s your name?” or the ever so original, “Did you enjoy the show?” I love being able to have conversation with them and hearing that they LOVED the show or that it was SO GREAT makes you feel all warm and cuddly. It makes me know that I did something good, and that I made a little kid happy! I do admire the little kids that do come up for an autograph because when I was little I was always very intimidated by all of the big kids. I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness, they are so old! And scary!” But in reality, we really aren’t all that old or scary!
Playtime Poppy shows are shows that I look forward to every year. I was one of four freshmen who made it my freshman year, than the same four of us made it our sophomore year, and then once again this year. We know EVERYTHING about Playtime Poppy. I like to call us, “the returning veterans!” Just being in the presence of the little kids makes all of our hard work pay off! They are in some ways the easiest but also the most fun shows we do all year long! I’ll be sad for sure next year when I have to perform/attend my last Playtime Poppy show EVER! (By the way, my grandma comes to see my performances and I think she is kind of excited that next year may be HER last time to attend a Playtime Poppy show since she has been coming to them since my mom was five years old!)
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