Every November my parish hosts an “All Saints” presentation. The class’ saint was St. George. They loved the idea of a dragon and when I pointed out that we couldn’t use real fire, they loved it even more. As one of my kids put it, “We can all wear orange.”
Trying to organize a group of ten kindergarteners is like herding cats diagnosed with ADHD pumped up on a double shot of expresso with a side of Milky Way candy bars. In short, my best friend and I were a bit frazzled. And my playwriting skills, never great to begin with, suffered tremendously. I was just happy to have the dragon die at the end.
It took several minutes of intense concentration to color the dragon. At one point, a fight between our St. George and our irate princess broke out. It seemed that our dragon had to be a multi-colored one since St. George had left the red marker uncapped and it dried out. Princess went for George’s throat and I was able to pry the fingers before George was martyred for the cause at the early age of five. Our dragon was a mish-mash of colors, glitter and ribbon. It was a refugee from a drunken Mardi Gras float but the kids adored it.
The Sunday dawned bright as if to mock my low expectations. Our George arrived with no neck bruises and our princess had an ornate crown fit for the British monarchy. Our dragon brigade was decked out in florescent orange shirts and it was time to break a leg.
Here is the gist of the play:
Me: Our saint is St. George (who waves his cardboard sword like a demented windmill and almost takes my head off) who fought a dragon (Dragon Brigade holds up glittery dragon and roars) to rescue a princess (who did her best imitation of Queen Elizabeth’s wave).
George (sword waving again too close at my ear) was riding his horse when he came upon a dragon (seven children dressed at highlighters roar at different pitches) to save the princess (she waves a bit less enthusiastically). George (again with the sword play) slays the dragon (they overdid the roaring since the dragon was dead). He kills (I emphasis kill since some of the dragon is still standing and it is, after all, supposed to be dead) the dragon (the rest of the brigade falls down and assumes wonky rigor mortis positions) And rescued the princess.
The audience erupted into applause and the children all bow like the serious thespians they were. I did send a prayer to St. George for watching our frenzied adaptation of his life and saving my head.