All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten logo

Principles of living come to life in Gaslight’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Release Date: 5/28/2002. Expired: 8/16/2002

“Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your own mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Wash your hands before you eat. Flush. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”

These words of wisdom, along with lots of other sage advice, come from the pages of Robert Fulghum’s best-selling book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, which will be brought to life on the Gaslight Dinner Theatre stage at The Renaissance Center June 7. Sponsored by Tennsco, the play runs Friday evenings through Aug. 16.

“Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be, I learned in kindergarten,” Fulghum writes. “Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate mountain, but there in the sandbox at nursery school.”

Directed by Alix McEachern Jones, a member of The Renaissance Repertory Company, the stage adaptation takes the viewer through various life situations, and teaches some of life’s basic but most important lessons in a series of touching, charming and humorous sketches.

“It’s a play based on a number of Robert Fulghum’s writings,” McEachern Jones said. “A vast majority of the script is taken verbatim from his books.”

Enhanced by an intimate performance style, each character deals with his or her own revelations.

“It’s story-telling at its most refined,” McEachern Jones said. “The ensemble cast speaks primarily to the audience, breaking through that proverbial fourth wall. Each character in the play is an Everyman. The audience will see themselves, their families, people they’ve met in each of these characters. The writing is rich and at times deeply moving. Audience members will find themselves being emotionally drawn into each story and hopefully will leave having had their lives enriched in some way.”

The character of Jill is played by Rep Company member Amy Arrington: Branislav is played by Rep Company Manager Hal Partlow: Kim Leavitt, Theatre Education and Community Outreach managing director, plays Kathleen: and Pacer Harp, managing director of the Gaslight Dinner Theatre, rounds out the ensemble as Ed.

Can we learn all we need to know from kindergarten? McEachern Jones says “yes.”

“The idea Robert Fulghum wants us to consider is the simplistic yet profoundly wise structure of the average kindergartner’s life. What would our world be like if all of us stopped at 3 o’clock every afternoon for a cookies and milk break? Then laid down with our blankets and took a nap. What if nations - world governments - always put things back the way they found them? Or just played fair?”

And the most important lesson? McEachern Jones says, “When going out into the world, always hold hands and stick together.”

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten opens in the Gaslight Dinner Theatre June 7 and runs Friday evenings through Aug. 16. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., dinner is 6:30 p.m. followed by the performance. Tickets for dinner and the show are $25 per person.

For reservations or for more information call The Renaissance Center at (615)740-5600.

The Renaissance Center is located at 855 Highway 46 South in Dickson, just 35 minutes from Nashville on Interstate 40 at exit 172.

Visit the Gaslight Dinner Theatre page for more about dinner theatre.

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