Today we attended the sensory-friendly performance of A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Dallas Children’s Theater. We try to go to pretty much every performance (I have written several observations about Daniel’s reactions, particularly about Balloonacy, which garnered two posts), and each time there’s something new with Daniel’s reactions to the play.
In this particular case, Daniel watched A Charlie Brown Christmas on T.V. earlier this week. He really enjoyed it and laughed a lot over Snoopy’s antics. So Daniel actually went into the play knowing the story.
As a result, Daniel ended up making a lot of comments about the technical aspects of the play. He pointed out that they had to practice a lot for them to match up to the televised version so well. He kept asking his mother about how they had to practice so much. He also noticed the projector in the back and noted that it was showing stuff on the screens on the stage.
He did mention that they were on roller blades rather than ice skates because they were pretending to be on ice skates, and that the Christmas trees were wooden rather than real or aluminum trees. But this time he only briefly mentioned these “anomalies” and didn’t harp on them as in times past.
Daniel loves to put on his version of plays. He has a tendency to direct play (a typical feature of autism), so directing A play is right up his alley. His plays have evolved from a series of unconnected scenes to complete stories–in fact, his last play was actually a telling of the trip of the Mayflower and the first Thanksgiving, told in order and actually making narrative sense. Coincidentally, his play was based on the Peanuts cartoon version of the first Thanksgiving he had seen.
I think that when Daniel noted that the actors had to have practiced a lot for the show to match the cartoon so well, he was thinking about the degree to which his play did not match the Peanuts version. I am guessing this does not bode well for his two actors, his brother, Dylan (5), and his sister, Melina (10). I suspect they will have a great deal more practice ahead of them with the next play Daniel conceives.