By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Childhood was a precious commodity to Benjamin, who subsisted on tiny crumbs of it the last few years of his life. He clung to his artwork like it was his last bowl of nourishment. Though it will flare again and again with each production, The Yellow Boat is the last colorful spark this firecracker ever sprayed, so the mood is pointedly mournful. Parents and guardians, be advised--while reserved in tone, The Yellow Boat explicitly addresses the separation of parent and child through death.
During the question and answer session, a girl in front of me who'd cried a little asked Dr. Kitchens, "Did Benjamin die?" I couldn't tell if she didn't understand the significance of Benjamin's final voyage on his sailboat, or just didn't want to believe it.
If the last part was true, she shared this with me, and probably the playwright. The Yellow Boat is a sturdy piece of stagecraft that carries a cargo of yearning from our mortal world straight up to the sun. We can't look at that place in the sky; we need artists to describe it for us. Through the able efforts of the Dallas Children's Theater, David and Benjamin render it beautifully.
The Yellow Boat runs through March 23. Call 978-0110.