…you’re watching a piece that you’ve spent countless hours planning, casting, choreographing, theming, stressing, crying over, staging, and believing in coming together WAY better than you could have only imagined… that moment was a reality at Hypersquad’s concert “Inside the Box”. Me, my partner in crime Cici Tagura, along with our Tuesday evening class took a contemporary take on the classic story of Raggedy Ann. We decided to view Raggedy Ann as a ‘token icon’ for that one toy or doll that you couldn’t go without. That one thing you needed to take with you everywhere and even when it’s time to play pretend, you imagine your favorite doll being life size… we all know we did it before.
A little girl (Shalyssa Medrano) is restless in her room as she awaits her father (John Ruiz) to come home from his day at work. He promised her a gift and she’s been waiting patiently to find out what daddy’s gonna come home with.
The father can’t help but think how happy his daughter will be when he comes home with a new doll for her to play with. This one was special, beautiful blue dress, a little white skirt, and rosy cheeks that surrounded her ever smiling face. Raggedy Ann was perfect for her.
He comes home and surprises her with the doll and she’s beyond pleased with her new friend! Snatching it at the instant her father gives it to her she beings to express her joy. Her mind fills with visions of what a world of Raggedy Ann and her friends would be like. But you know how you can’t really think when your parents are there… just watching you… Being young and full of imagination, a scene of marching dolls emerge and soon, everything comes to life. So when her father leaves the room… the magic happens. Characters of blue and white emerge from her imagination and secures a place in what The daughter now sees as her world. Just playing in bliss, it feels like nothing wrong could ever happen. Soon enough, her new friend Raggedy Ann (Gabrielle Pascua) comes to life and they both begin to have adventures of their own.
The daughter wanted to share some playtime with her dad and her new best friend. So they played together for while taking turns… She showed him first how Raggedy Ann was a soft gentle friend that she can trust and know that no matter what, they’ll always be there for each other. Then she gave it to her dad and asked him to pretend too. Her father showed her that Raggedy Ann is also a very dependable friend that will do everything she can to protect her and that although frail looking, she’s build like a brick wall.
An unforeseen illness comes over the daughter and she’s rushed to seek medical attention. As the father frantically races her to seek help, he makes sure that Raggedy Ann is by his daughters side… to protect her… to be there for her. Raggedy Ann, in fact, had never left her side… protecting her… being there for her. She stands there by her bed side, watching the little girl clench on to the little version of herself. The father watches her from a distance… worrying what will happen to her. Will she get better? Will we have another day? As he paces back and forth… he keeps thinking to himself these questions. As he walks back to her bed to tell her that everything’s gonna be ok… he sees her hand unfold and falling to the floor is Raggedy Ann… both lying there, lifeless… not moving… both not able to get up on their own…
Frustrated, and angered that he couldn’t do anything to save his own daughter, he lashes out in is own grief. Raggedy Ann, losing her only best friend, is saddened also. Both relying on each other to cope with their losses, they both know that although physically his daughter and her best friend, is no longer here, her memory will live on. They move forward and keep no regrets of the past.
The end scene shows the father, Raggedy Ann, and the memory of the daughter together. As Raggedy Ann watches the father crouch down to reach for the doll, his daughter stands there over his shoulder and reminds him that everything is going to be ok. Never forgetting each other and remembering that no matter what happens, you have to keep marching on.
We tried to portray a story that everyone can relate to. Whether if you had a Raggedy Ann doll, or any type of doll that you remember playing with all the time as a kid… If you’re a father, or father figure, that knows the unconditional love that you have for a child… if you know or have lost anyone to a disease or life changing event… I’m sure we can relate to it on different angles as well.
For those that attended the concert, I hope that this has captured you in a different way. I hope that we were able to paint this picture into your head and were able to convey a story where not only the main characters, but the entire piece, from dancers, staging, and props, were a focal point to help you piece together this number.
I appreciated every single one of you no matter what the length of friendship we’ve had. Why? Because at one point you trusted me, and at one point I trusted you.
Thank you for being someone that can read my posts, roll your eyes at it, smile at it, laugh at it, or even just stare at it… because in the end, you still took the time to read it and got to know me a little more.