Kindergarten, Where You Learn it All

Jourdan Zelaya, Opinions Editor

A child’s mindset and thought process is one of the most innocent things that a human will ever possess in their lifetime.
Children are born with a sense of curiosity and wonder, which comes in many forms. Because of this innate sense of wonder and curiosity, children pick up on some of the most basic, yet vitally important and crucial aspects of life, often without even realizing it. Games that are played when you are a child, sweet and whimsical at the time, can be viewed as the backbone of how people learn to think and process information.

These moments of childhood set a foundation for the rest of their lives such as knowing how to act appropriately in social situations as well as keeping the status quo. Whether these moments teach them about love, hate, friendship, or education, they are invaluable to who they become later in life.
Much of this was embodied in PB Perspectives’ fall play All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, which ran on the dates of November 10th, 11th, 17th, and 18th in our very own Paint Branch auditorium. The play, a production originally created by playwright Robert Fulghum, is a series of vignettes and short stories of events that are, essentially, heartwarming and profound events found in everyday life.

Short sequences in the play range from a young, elementary school boy who wants to break the norm by playing the character of a pig in their school’s play, Cinderella, which, the narrator tells us, doesn’t exist except in the innocent boy’s head. But because of how pure and innocent the child is, who is the teacher to tell him “no?” There is also, one of my favorite scenes in the play, there was a man who dreamed of flying high up in the sky in the Air Force but couldn’t due to a visual impairment so he tied balloons to his lawn chair and began to gracefully float in the sky, much to the awe of his neighbors and fellow citizens alike.

The play highlights moments that include the innocent boy’s desire to play a pig in a play to the man’s desire to float in the sky. These represent the pure moments that children find appealing. They are also moments that even adults find themselves enjoying. All in all, the vignettes and stories made for a very lighthearted performance.

Rehearsals began in early September, where the actors worked diligently practicing their lines and learning stage directions. “It [rehearsals] was pretty chill,” says Emmanuel Mehari, a senior who was a cast member in the production. “At first we would read through the script and try to comprehend it, then we’d have to actively try and memorize our lines at home.”

Rehearsals definitely paid off. Although not a musical, there was a particular scene that stuck with many in the theater throughout the rest of the performance. In the second act of the play, a simple scene, fittingly named “Uh-Oh!” captured the hearts and minds of all. This scene is essentially about human nature and how, in our mishaps, we find ourselves using onomatopoeia in words such as “oof!” and “ick!” to non-verbally express our distaste, our dislike, and our surprise. The cast members collectively sat in rows tiered on stage and rhythmically began to say words that ranged from “oof” to “ick” to “uh-oh”, one after the other to illustrate how all of these phrases can be said in almost any context. This cheery moment left those in the theater grinning because of a surprisingly catchy cadence that turned into a sort of musical number.

Despite not having a concrete storyline, I rather enjoyed this change of pace in play choice. No cast member was one set character, as each played a variety of roles that shifted with each new story. Initially, I was confused, going in with the mindset that it was going to be a story with set characters, much like the other performances that I have written about in the past. However, once I understood the route they were taking and what they were going for, I was pleasantly surprised, and also regretful that I was only able to see the show one time.

Now that Perspectives has wrapped up its fall run, keep an eye out in early spring for auditions for the spring musical production of Emma!, which hits the stage in March.