Dear readers, in a change of tone, the following piece is an unabashed heart-on-my-sleeve plea to my city – Visalia, California. We are watching something truly magical and irreplaceable being destroyed, our children’s theatre, the Enchanted Playhouse. A unique non-profit program that invites local children to participate in its productions at their theatre, which is located in the heart of downtown Visalia.
And why is it ending? Money. In a short sighted money grab, the City of Visalia is selling the theatre property from right underneath the theatre company. Selling the location to developers who want to build restaurants in its place. Restaurants. It breaks my heart.
The Enchanted Playhouse is a part of my family’s life, a part of our story. It’s a part of so many people’s lives and stories in this city. It seems a cruel joke to see it so heartlessly discarded by people who don’t understand its importance, its priceless value, its contribution to the heart and soul of downtown.
Can you put a price on magic?
Where do you get your magic?
Is it from a corporation?
Do you buy your magic exclusively from Disney?
You almost have to these days. They’ve bought almost everything.
Where is real magic found?
It’s not easy to find. It’s delicate and fragile.
I think it comes from love, a gift to the children…to all children.
A place where all children are welcome to come and be enchanted.
A place where all children are welcome to learn the magic of theatrical performance and culture in a loving, safe and inspirational environment. Live a shared experience they will fondly remember for the rest of their lives. A place like none other in the world. A jewel.
Where do you find that magic, when you’ve paved over the wishing well?
When you’ve closed the enchanted story book to the hearts of the children…
for a handful of silver…
How can you take that gift away? The gift of children’s hearts in flight. (I guess you can’t remember why that’s important anymore. Huh?)
Well, was it worth it, what you bought? What you got for that silver.
Was it worth it, City of Visalia?
What did you get? Tell me?
Whatever it is, it isn’t enough, and now you’ll lose something much more valuable.
Can’t you see this is “It’s a Wonderful Life”?… Be Jimmy Stewart, be Donna Reed. Don’t be Mr. Potter. Be George Bailey!
The Enchanted Playhouse needs to be protected and supported, City of Visalia. Save this institution and save your soul. Save it if you still can, before it’s too late and you lose something you can never get back.
On Monday 7/16 there will be a meeting at City Hall regarding Enchanted Playhouse Children’s Theater. Please come and give your support.
Facebook Event Link:
To learn more about the theatre company and its program, watch this piece about it produced by our local PBS affiliate. https://www.pbs.org/video/enchanted-playhouse-theater-company-charlottes-web-pwbspx/
To learn about the fight to save the Enchanted Playhouse: