I was invited to attend the opening performance of The Big League at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People here in Toronto last week and when I found out it was a hockey-themed play targeted at children aged 7 to 12 about ‘trying your best and having fun doing it’, I jumped at the chance to take my hockey-loving son for a night out together.
The play opens with long-time friends Tommy and Deke trying out for a AAA hockey team and goes on to deftly tackle the themes of sportsmanship, the pressure to win, and being true to yourself. It’s presented in a humourous way, making it very appealing to kids while providing a perfect platform for learning opportunities. And the fact that the actors perform the entire play on rollerblades and in full hockey equipment—and that one of the main characters, the goalie, is a girl—make it just plain cool.
If you know me, you know I am a conflicted hockey mom—I love my son’s love of the game, but I don’t love much of what goes along with competitive hockey. Observing Tommy’s journey through his hockey career from when ‘hockey was all fun’ to ‘when his dad got way more serious about the game’ (his words, not mine) provides important lessons to all of us hockey parents about being passionate, but not letting our passions carry us away. After all, it’s their game, not ours.
If you get a chance to see it, I would love to know what you thought.
Photo courtesy of Iden Ford Photography