I have always loved plays and musicals, comedies in particular. Furthermore, when I was very young, I wanted to grow up to be Gilda Radner. Rosanne Rosanna Danna was my favorite of her characters, but I loved them all. At age ten, I even got to see Gilda Live, on Broadway. Fortunately for me, decades before the V-Chip, there were liberal babysitters and older siblings who wanted to watch Saturday Night Live. Thus, I felt that I had struck gold, each weekend.
At arguably too tender an age, and annoyed for my heroine by Jane Curtin’s interruptions, I viewed and memorized the Rosanne bits. While I memorized both the times tables and Gilda’s rants, the rants proved far more entertaining, at the summer camp 4th of July talent shows. Each July 3rd, I would crimp my hair (the old fashioned way, wet braids over night), declare a bunkmate “Jane”, and morph into Maine’s only pint sized Rosanne impersonator. I did this from age 7 to 11. Since the dirty stuff went over my head, I omitted it. I believe I was also edited for content by my wise momager.
Fast forwarding a decade or two, Gilda continued to inspire a couple of turns in community theatre comedies. Consequently, when creating the Contagious Laughter™ Box Office play box for kids, I wanted to share with children my love of all things theatrical. With the fairy tale finger puppets, for example kids can create their own epic tale, along the lines of The Princess Bride, the Shrek films, Frozen, and so many others. In addition, the Box Office contains face paint, a clown nose and a felt jester hat. There is just something about a prop that brings out the performer within. It can also provide a protective form of expression for a more reserved or shy child.
Finally, a performance themed play box for kids offers mastery that movies and books don’t; children can direct their own tales, from beginning to end. With the face paint, they can even embody the next big super hero. Or they can just play and have some expressive, hammy fun, no hair crimping required.