Hearts were racing, butterflies were fluttering, and spirits were soaring May 28 and 29 as Holy Trinity Classical Christian grammar school students presented their spring production of “The Happy Prince.” Adapted from a short story by Oscar Wilde, the play tells the story of the statue of a deceased Prince of France placed high above the streets of Paris.
The Prince regrets the selfish, pleasure-seeking nature of his human existence and wishes to make amends. He befriends a sparrow who has stopped to rest on his pedestal during her migratory journey south. After visiting Versailles and witnessing the lavish and frivolous lives of the aristocracy, the sparrow agrees to help the Prince ease the suffering of poor. Though imperative for it to fly south, the sparrow carries his gold necklace, crown, and precious sapphire eyes to those in need.
Winter comes before the sparrow has a chance to leave, and the sparrow perishes. The Prince’s heart breaks in sorrow. The haughty Lord Councilor tears the statue down and throws it in the fire, but the Prince’s heart cannot be melted. The dead sparrow and the broken lead heart, “the two most precious things on earth,” are retrieved by the Angel Gabriel who brings them to heaven. The Lord praises Gabriel by saying “You have rightly chosen, Gabriel. For in the garden of Paradise this little bird shall sing forevermore, and in my city of gold, the Happy Prince shall ever praise me.”
Poignant closing words from a play sprinkled with joyous songs, dances, and hilarious character acting — a play whose message touched the hearts of the audience, but blessed the participants as well.
“We are so proud of our students for their dedication to this production,” said Headmaster Reverend Chad Lawrence. “We must remember these children are just in elementary school. What they were able to do in this production is classical education at the heart.”