Saturday, August 1, 2009

Must Be This Tall To Read

Today, I saw a very nice production of Julius Caesar. My internal thespian giggles with glee at such productions. One thing disconcerted me, though. As I was leaving, I saw a girl who looked no older than eight. True, she was with her mother, but that doesn't change some things about the show.

Let's have a little thought about age appropriate. This might not have been the bloodiest thing I've ever seen on a stage, but this was still the production where blood actually seeped from the corpse down the pulpit. True, I offer much praise to the techies who pulled that off, but that's not something I'd recommend for kids.

People consider often what to rate movies, how to categorize books, but it's not often people say, "oh, but isn't that play too high of a rating for kids?" At least, if that's happening, no one has ever said it in front of me (or the parent's of the tween or under personages I've seen at some particularly gruesome shows.)

Forsaking the middle, Julius Caesar ends with **Spoiler Alert** two assisted suicides. Interesting to watch when well done, but certainly a gruesome thought. In my younger days, my father's method of information control, instead of ratings or such things, was to tell me which items I wanted to read or watch he thought would make me unhappy. I soon learned that he was often right. I'd include much of Julius Caesar as things that would make a kid unhappy.

What constitutes "too much" for children? What is okay in books/movies/film?


  1. I wish my tech crew could make blood drip off the pulpit. *is jealous*

    You make a good point. Seeing something gruesome onstage is arguably more traumatizing than seeing it on TV. With TV, I would think a kid would have an easier (slightly, at least) time understanding that it wasn't real. Seeing it happening right in front of you, however, is a different can of worms.

    That must have been an, um, interesting experience for the kid, since she probably had next to no clue what was going on. Shakespeare doesn't really equate to English, nowadays.

  2. I believe the little girl's opinion was that it was too much like Macbeth. In that production, the title character's head was removed with a shovel (who's thinking Secret Window?). Gruesome, no?