Samuel Beckett, Eat Your Heart Out

One of Sophie’s electives in school this term is playwriting.  She is one of two children in her class (yes, that’s correct, one of two kids – up to you to decide whether that’s wonderful or a silly waste of teacher resources. I confess to wavering between the two).  Sophie loves her teacher.  For the past several weeks, they have been writing a short play that they are going to perform for their parents on Friday.

Sophie is more eager than usual to recruit people to come see her oeuvre.  That’s because hardly anyone will be there.  A two-kid class does not a sell-out crowd make.  She first asked her Grammy to come when my mom met her after school the other day.  But Grammy can’t make it.  She then asked me. I was honored to accept her invitation.  I didn’t quit my job last year for nothing, after all. She also asked her Papa, who can’t make it either because he’s currently in St. Louis.  She didn’t ask Chloe because Chloe is her evil sister.

She seems a little upset that I’m the only one who can go.  I’d clone myself if I could, but unfortunately, that’s not yet possible.  I’d bring Truffle if I could, but that would get me kicked out of her school.  I could bring some of her stuffed animals.  But while she’d probably be secretly happy if I did that, she’d be outwardly mortified if Shirley, Bone-Bone and Uni crashed her performance.

Sophie’s co-dramatist, who happens to be a boy, wanted to write about space.  Sophie wanted to write about fairy tales. So much for breaking the barriers of gender stereotypes. The play is the result of their compromise. Because the play has four speaking parts, each kid has two roles.  It’s about silly inter-galactic soldiers who want to destroy Fairy Tale Museum, which is inconveniently located somewhere in deep space. It’s also about the seductive power of donuts.  In fact, its called “The Donut.” The play definitely has a Samuel Beckett “Waiting for Godot” absurdist quality to it.  Or perhaps it’s reminiscent of Eugene Ionesco. In any case, it’s the kind of play Beckett or Ionesco might have penned when they were 8 years old.

I can’t wait to see it.  I’ve promised her that my applause will be loud enough to make it seem like she has a crowd of fans watching her big debut.  Oh, I also promised her that I’d take her home after it’s over. Now that I think about it, that’s probably the only reason why she asked me to go in the first place…

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