To kick off the 2017-2018 season of productions in their Downtown series, which will follow the “throwback” theme, Kingsport Theatre Guild has chosen to take things all the way back to the beginning with Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. But audiences will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is much more to this show than just a gaggle of actors pretending to be kids who finger paint and eat glue. With items from basic rules for everyday life all the way to coming to terms with one’s own mortality, there is a little something here for everyone.
Robert Fulghum is something of a modern day philosopher, whether intentional or not, I do not know. He rose to popularity in the late 1980s when his collection of writings titled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things remained on the New York Times bestseller list for 2 years. Since that time, Fulghum has performed in two television adaptations of his work, been nominated for a Grammy for spoken word, published a total of 9 books, as well as spoken at numerous events throughout the United States and Europe.
This production is unique in that there are no ‘leads’ and no ‘supporting roles’. Each performer is considered a member of the Ensemble and each is equally important to the execution of the show as a whole. There is no one person who “carries” this show, but at the same time if they were to lose even one member of their group, I don’t believe it is possible that the presentation would be the same. Certainly each of the eight cast members know nearly the entirety of the script by heart and would be able to jump in to almost any “role” but it would likely lose something in the translation. Each of these women and men display a wide variety of acting and performance skills. I imagine that this is a script that a drama teacher or workshop organizer could utilize with tremendous success for exercises in character variations.
I would love to tell you that so-and-so was the highlight of the evening, or that yadda-yadda gave the most spectacular performance of the entire show…but I just cannot do that! There were so many hilarious, beautiful, moving, thought provoking, relatable moments that the best advice I can give you is to get out this weekend and experience Kindergarten for yourself. The material is presented in a very stripped down, minimalist style that allows the audience to really focus on what the actors are presenting. As an added bonus, KTG is offering a one night only dinner and a show option on Saturday. Seating is limited, so it is recommended that tickets for this event be purchased in advance.
Performance dates & times: Sept. 8 & 9 @ 7:00, Sept. 10 @ 2:00
Location: Taylored Venue & Events, 115 Shelby Street