Why are we so afraid to let our kids play outside, when we know that such activity is vital for their physical and mental health? Our fears are so extreme that in a few cases, parents have been arrested for allowing their children to play outside unattended. My mother would have been sent to jail on an almost daily basis.
There must be a vision for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten classrooms as engaging, interactive environments, full of open-ended opportunities for play as learning, and focused on early childhood learning guidelines that address the whole child's learning and development, not just on early academics.
The new play from Patrick Shanley, Outside Mullingar, covers some familiar themes of love, family, old age, and the ups and downs that come with the combination of the three. But where this story rises above others is in how packed it is with humor that both delight the audience and endear the characters to one another.