Southern Lee will host production this week
If the title doesn’t grab the audience’s attention, the sincere content of “All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten” just might.
The musical is the year-end production for Southern Lee High School’s Cavalier Theatre, with shows starting at 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the school’s theater. Focusing on morals that are taught to young children which sometime get forgotten by the time adulthood rolls around, the show has the actors pretend to be people of all ages, from kindergarteners to senior citizens, as they explore various themes.
Kayla Honeycutt, a 16-year-old junior who’s part of the small ensemble that features nine students and a teacher, said she likes the play — based on essays from Robert Fulghum’s book of the same name — because it hasn’t been widely performed.
“There’s no set standard, so you can really play it how you think it should go,” she said.
The original adaptation was a 90-minute-long musical, although Southern Lee Theatre Arts Director Mike Jones said that in the interest of time, the school’s production will feature three songs instead of all eight from the original. That’s fine, he said, because the message stays intact.
“They’re entertaining stories primarily about ordinary people,” he said. “A lot of people think — because of the title — it’s going to be a kids show, but it’s not.”
Heather Harvey, who teaches 9th and 10th grade English at the school and is taking part in the play, agreed that the musical’s messages will appeal to just about anyone.
“Being a little older and more experienced than these guys, I appreciate that it touches on all ages groups,” Harvey said before a dress rehearsal last week.
One of Harvey’s fellow cast members, 15-year-old freshman Taylor Medlock, said she appreciated that the play doesn’t just focus on one or two morals or stories, instead touching a range of issues. Indeed, a wall on stage is covered in quotes with various kindergarten-level lessons that the play uses as metaphors or direct examples of how people of all ages should approach life.
“Be aware of wonder,” one sign reads. “Play fair,” says another. “Flush.” “Don’t hit.” “Share.” “Clean up your own mess.” The list goes on.
Tickets to the play are available to anyone who wants to come, and cost $6. The theater can only hold an audience of about 80-100 people, but Jones said he thinks that will actually work well for this production, creating an intimate atmosphere for a play that’s about getting in touch with emotions and morals.
“It’s insightful and delivers a perspective in everyday life,” he said.