Last night, we saw a play together that made me cry for the first time in four years of shows with my little girl.
When She Had Wings is a sweet, funny story inspired by the life of Amelia Earhart. B (short for Beatrix) is almost 10, and her dearest ambition is to fly. But B is afraid that if she can't fly before she turns 10 it won't ever happen, and so she doesn't want her birthday to come. When a stranger crashes into B's beloved backyard tree just a few days before her birthday, she can't believe her eyes. Could this stranger be B's idol Amelia Earhart? Will B take flight before her birthday with help from the stranger who calls herself A?
Magic is in the air as Imagination Stage kicks off its 2015-2016 season with When She Had Wings, a play by Suzan Zeder, four-time winner of the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance of Theatre and Education. Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, When She Had Wings is a beautiful show with a powerful message of making the impossible possible with the limitless of childhood imagination. There's also a wonderful subtext of body acceptance that I wasn't expecting.
My six year A didn't pick up on it, but as a parent I dearly loved this part of the story. B mentions her mother has bought her too-small pants as a gift and has plans to send her to weight loss camp for the summer. B laments growing up and getting too heavy to fly, while shrugging off her father's attempts to tell her he loves her just as she is. There's an especially touching moment near the end of the show when A tells B she needs weight to fly. I won't spoil the surprise but I will say this is the part of the show that had me tearing up.
Imagination Stage recommends When She Had Wings for ages 5 and up. While much of the show is funny and lighthearted, there are two storm scenes that are fairly loud. Children who are sensitive to noise may have trouble with these scenes. When She Had Wings runs September 23-November 1, 2015 in Imagination Stage’s Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre. Tickets start at $10, and can be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are available, and I'm going to take advantage of that group rate to take A's Girl Scout troop to see the show.
Imagination Stage has several special performances of When She Had Wings, including:
Post-Show Conversation: October 3 after the 4:00 p.m. show
The Creation of Power and Meaning through Imagination: A Young Girl’s Journey: Join child psychoanalysts Rosa Aurora Chavez Eakle, MD, PhD, and Carla Elliott-Neely, PhD and lead actress Pamela Christian and Director Kathryn Chase Bryer of When She Had Wings for a post-show panel moderated by Janet Stanford, Artistic Director.
Sensory-Friendly performance: October 11 at 11:00 a.m.
Sensory-Friendly performances are designed to be more accessible to those individuals on the autism spectrum or to others with sensory sensitivities.
ASL-interpreted performance: October 11at 4:00 p.m.
Please call 301-280-1660 for more information and to ensure proper seat location.
Saturday Night Flight: October 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy creative and fun activities courtesy of KID Museum!
Halloween Costume Parade: October 31 at 4:00 p.m.
Come in costume and take photos on the stage after the show!
All photos by Noe Todorovich courtesy of Imagination Stage
I received complimentary tickets in exchange for my honest review for Macaroni Kid Rockville-Gaithersburg.