Our resident writer, Michael Loruss, shares his observations of MainStreet’s “Frederick”. We hope you enjoy his musings, as we gear up for 2 more weeks (19 more performances) of the show — and hope you’ll join us for one of our weekend performances….
As children, our worlds are comprised of reverential discovery. With each moment a new color, sound, feeling, or smell is added to our sensory spectra. Always curious, we endlessly observe and absorb elements relative to our respective capacities. Until, season by season, we find ourselves immersed in the identities of our vocation, distracted by the necessity of our labor. We’re taught, by this commodification of survival, that our days are a merely a means to an end. And we find that, as Frederick the artist, poet, and dreamer in MainStreet Theatre Company’s adaptation of Leo Lionni’s Frederick reminds us: “It’s hard to find the words for feelings sometimes.”
When is the last time that you stopped, literally, to smell the roses? Did you notice the bee buzzing its gratitude in that very instant? Or are you more aligned with the ant, marching toward its task at hand? Still, what might these insects remind us about why we do what we do? Frederick knows, and in this play he’ll share with you his secrets for gathering life’s smallest but most precious details. If you’ve never seen fall’s first leaf sway slowly to the ground, you will. You’ll pause to paint your memory with the hues of nature as it shifts its seasonal mantle, temporal as a snowflake. And you’ll be able, quite like a child again (or a mouse, in this instance), to exclaim “Mmm!” and “Ahh!”
Frederick is a play for all ages, one that encourages us to reconsider our place in the world around us. It also seeks to empower us to challenge our individual and collective schemata. When wonder replaces rote experience, we enter into the realm of poetry. But how do we uncover it? Where do we begin to look? And what role does community play in our search for light and warmth in the most common encounters, especially when faced with the unexpected and unknown? Frederick and friends, in their journey to see another spring, to stretch once again beneath the summer sun, ask us to analyze what we value and why. Less in the process of living, and more for the love of life itself—for all its small majesties and larger triumphs.