Art in the Open Air

Two years ago we took our then-seven-year old daughter to see Merchant of Venice at the American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin.  She drank it in, loved it, and marveled that she could look up from the stage to the sky and see all the stars above.

During our Mineral Point visit this past week we had a chance to attend the theatre again (this time for George Bernard Shaw’s The Philanderer).  It was, in short, a dreamlike evening, my wife and I in the company of our now-nine-year old, the weather perfect, dear friends in the audience, the stage brilliant under the lights, our daughter alternately transfixed by the beauty of the costumes and set or giggling at Shaw’s enduring humor.  And my favorite part?  Somewhere during the third act when she nudged me, pointed upward, and whispered, “They’re here!”  And directly above us were a few stars, gauzily revealed.

You pay your money.  You get your show.  But this was a night when you wanted to add your heartfelt thanks to the cast and crew and staff and everyone involved with this theater in the woods for providing our little family with a jewel for our memory box.  The day is coming when the young one will find her own way, and the old bald guy will become less the center of her world, but last night as we made our way down the footpath to the parking lot – her in the middle, holding our hands – I listened to her happily recounting her favorite moments from the play, and my heart was as light as her step.

Special thanks to Jimmy, and to the keepers of the troll.  Good to see you.

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