Saturday, February 14, 2009

Notes from the Playwright: Karin Williams

Why I wrote this play...

When you're a parent, you end up going to a lot of birthday parties. After a while, you realize birthday parties for children are not all that different from the parties adults throw for themselves. Yeah, it's fun to run around laughing and screaming on a cake-and-ice cream high.

But, for many kids, attending a birthday party is kind of like attending the inaugural ball. It's monumentally exciting, but it's also full of anxiety. What are you going to wear? Will everybody like your dress, or will your picture end up all over the tabloids with a big red "don't" banner splashed over it? If the band plays a tango, will you know how to do the steps right? Will everybody laugh at you if you trip? Will anybody talk to you, or will you end up sitting in a corner all by yourself? Kids worry about all these issues the same way adults do, and the kids with the most anxiety are usually the ones trying hardest to get everything right.

In this play, I wanted to tell the story of a little girl who's worried about being good enough. She's afraid she won't be good enough at the games, or at the crafts. She's worried her present won't be good enough. And because she's so worried about what everyone else will think of her, she ends up becoming her own harshest critic. Anna's Perfect Party is a story about perfectionism, but really it's a story about self-esteem - which starts with accepting your own strengths and weaknesses - and how you can build self-confidence, one party at a time.

- Karin Williams

1 comment:

  1. I just had my son's 3rd birthday party today, probably the last time his self conciousness won't have fully kicked in for one of these events and my main objective as a parent was for him to have a blast and not think too much about what was going on. He is blissfully napping upstairs with a belly full of pizza and cake and I can only hope that his loud singing and incredibly chocolate smeared face indicate some kind of success. Next year, the pressure's on.