Eleanor Stacey explained to her daughter that the letters ER on the curtain of the Royal Theatre stand for Elizabeth and Regina.

Making memories at the Civic

Columnist Eleanor Stacey brings us a poignant story of a mother-and daughter outing to the theatre.

n October, I took my six-year-old daughter to the Civic Theatre’s screening of the Royal Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet. We left dad and little brother at home, and left for the theatre together, very aware that there was something out of the ordinary about this girls’ night out. After all, she’s six, so leaving the house for the evening to be somewhere at 7 p.m. is a bit unusual.

On the way there, we talked about Romeo and Juliet. She knew a bit about the love story, having seen the animated Gnomeo and Juliet, but was surprised to hear that in the original version, the young couple dies. “That’s really sad, Mum,” she said. I told her that some stories are sad, but it doesn’t make them bad stories.

The Royal Ballet and Royal Opera films open with an introduction to the venue, interviews with performers, and some behind-the-scenes footage. We saw the dancer playing Juliet developing a piece, as well as a rehearsal featuring some pretty exciting stage sword fighting between Tybalt and Mercutio. Then the scene changed to a view of the velvet curtain on the stage of the Royal Theatre, complete with the royal cypher. My daughter asked me why the letters “ER” were on the curtain. I told her that “E” is for Elizabeth and “R” is for Regina, which means “queen.” She said that she thought it was really cool that the queen had her signature on the curtains.

We only lasted through the first intermission, when her eyes started to close. We had seen Capulets and Montagues bite their thumbs at one another, and watched Romeo and Juliet fall in love, and that was enough. But since then, we have talked about that first act often, especially the costumes and the pointe shoes. It looks like we’ll be going to the next art on screen production at The Civic, which will be The Marriage of Figaro on Nov. 18, and leading up to that we’ll be joining grandma to see Nelson Community Opera’s production of Jorinda at the Capitol Theatre.

So I think it’s great that my six-year-old is into trying opera and classical ballet, but that wasn’t what I loved most about our Romeo and Juliet outing. Like most parents I know, our daily grind is a busy one, and while we try to make sure that we eat together most nights, read stories with our kids, and do things as a family, the truth is that many of our daily activities hinge on getting to school or getting to bed in some way or another. While we were at the theatre, we didn’t talk about eating vegetables or cleaning up art supplies. We took some time to just enjoy something together in a new way, and it made it really special for both of us.

A few years ago, Metro Vancouver came out with a holiday slogan, geared towards increasing awareness of how much waste gift-giving produced. The motto was “Make Memories, Not Garbage” and I think they are still using it these days. It really stuck with me, not only for the environmental implications, but also for the quality of life values it promoted.

At The Civic, we’re planning a few ways to make memories this winter, with the return of our Home for the Holidays open house, our all-ages New Year’s Eve Pajama Party, and more performance on screen, Thursday night films and Hollywood fare as well. I know it’s still a bit early to be talking about Christmas, really, but there is never a bad time to think about making memories with the people we care about most.

Eleanor Stacey is the executive director at the Civic Theatre.

Just Posted

RDCK sets deadline for Nelson to agree to compost plan

Mayor John Dooley said the timeline request is unreasonable

Rossland moves forward on single-use plastic bag ban bylaw

Bylaw given first reading at last council meeting

PHOTOS: Business after Business highlights Traction on Demand

It’s the first time Malpass has spoken formally to the business community about his purchase of Branch 51 of the Royal Canadian Legion

Premier Horgan talks jobs and opportunity at Castlegar mill

Upbeat visit brings message of hope and co-operation among Kootenay forestry players

Nelson couple expecting identical girl triplets

Pregnancies of this type are incredibly rare

VIDEO: Large dust devil swirls through town in B.C.’s interior

Residents look on as column climbs about 90 feet into the air

RCMP arrest B.C. man following threatening Vaisakhi Facebook post

Post made reference to pressure cooker bomb at massive Surrey parade

Second dump site of Dungeness crab discovered in northern B.C.

DFO confident new site related to larger April 2 dump

Northern B.C. high school student reaches 100,000 followers on YouTube

Voice actor, animator, Jericho Fortune has more than 30-million views on his channel GTAGAMER222

B.C. woman pleads for people to stop stealing daffodils meant to honour cancer victims

Cynthia Bentley honours memory of those lost to cancer by planting 100 daffodils each year

University mourns student who died in B.C. canoeing accident

Andrew Milner, 19, was in his second year with the University of Calgary’s basketball program

Canfor temporarily shutting down lumber mills across B.C.

Low lumber prices and the high cost of fibre are the cause of curtailment, according to the company

Two in critical condition, several still in hospital after Langley deck collapse

Close relative Satwant Garcha makes daily trips to visit those injured at the wedding

Allegedly intoxicated man arrested after 3 paramedics attacked at Kamloops hospital

Paramedics had transported the man to Royal Inlands Hospital for medical treatment

Most Read