I so admire and enjoy the works of Lois Lowry! And this weekend I had the opportunity to see the Oregon Children’s Theater production of her book, Gossamer. I reread the book in preparation for seeing the play, and loved it even more with this reread. And the play was a wonderful interpretation of the book, adapted for the stage by Lois Lowry, herself.
Gossamer is a story about the healing power of memory, dreams, and imagination. It’s a courageous book that takes on the issue of abuse (both child and spousal abuse), and it is very honest in the presentation of those episodes. But it focuses sensitively on the healing process — the small steps that are taken, and the emotional support from people that care, that eventually lead to recovery.
Synopsis from the Oregon Children’s Theater web site:
We meet Littlest One, a Dream Giver, as she learns how to gather memories—touching human’s possessions, gathering fragments of the past and weaving them into wonderful and comforting dreams. Littlest is a curious young student and is constantly asking questions, exploring her world, and questioning who she is. Littlest and her teacher, Thin Elderly, are assigned to the house of an old woman who is providing foster care for a young boy who has been abused and neglected by his parents. It is in this house that Littlest first encounters Sinisteeds, creatures who bring nightmares to humans. When the Sinisteeds gather together as a horde and invade the boy and the woman’s dreams while they sleep, Littlest and Thin Elderly must bestow healing dreams to protect them from the damaging nightmares. Together Littlest and Thin Elderly discover the power of love.
The Oregon production was done with great heart. The creativity of set design and lighting added another dimension to the story, and the actors did a wonderful job. It was a very moving experience for me, and for the families in the theater. so if you have the opportunity to visit Portland, Oregon, in the next few weeks, don’t miss it!