Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Political Correctness in Munchkinland

So starting December 1, my children are in various performances/concerts/shows approximately every 12 minutes. Because there's not enough to do that month. Between church choir and ballet, we'd be busy, but then my older daughter and her best friend have also decided to write and perform their own ballet (also design and sew costumes, print custom programs, and run their younger siblings through rehearsal. Ah, the optimism of youth.)

But the event I'm really looking forward to is our younger daughter's turn as Dorothy in the school-sanctioned production of Wizard of Oz. What's that? you're thinking. Nancy's daughter must really be a super thespian to grab that big chunky lead role at the tender age of 8.

Don't you worry; in order to reduce the chance of divadom, the part of Dorothy is shared by SIX count 'em 6 actors during the course of each show. Our girl is the last of the bunch, the one who gets to click her ruby slippers and go home, so we've nicknamed her D-6, which can double as her rap name. No one girl has more than 30 lines - and yes, my daughter and her actor friends counted to make sure there is parity.

It's great...I guess. I mean, it would be a lot to memorize for a kid, and no one does snotty better than a third grade girl with more lines than her peers. The program is run as after school enrichment so every parent wants to get their $300 worth of entertainment by their child.

But on the other hand, political correctness in the Wizard of Oz? The source of the line, "Only bad witches are ugly"? Besides, there's probably no career more soul-crushing than acting (except maybe writing,) where rejection is just a sign that you're doing your job by getting auditions. Where better to start toughening the hide than in elementary school?

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