You should do a play. Maybe you live alone, and maybe you are not loving the way the light dies in late afternoon, when you know there are 15 more hours of aloneness ahead. Maybe you should spend some of that time with other humans, inside a warm theatre, putting together a show.

Maybe the play will be “The Snow Queen,” an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about Gerda, a stout-hearted little girl who takes off on a quest to rescue her friend Kai from the clutches of the creepy if dazzling Snow Queen, and who has many adventures along the way.

Maybe you will get the part of the Storyteller, the old lady who narrates the play. The Storyteller is an excellent part for you, requiring as it does almost no memorization and no moving around onstage. Your memory is a shabby thing, and trying to remember lines while trying to remember where you are supposed to be onstage would pose a challenge. The Storyteller gets to sit on a comfortably padded barstool on the far side of the stage and read her lines aloud from the storybook, which, happily for you, is the script. All you have to do is turn the pages and read your lines. You can do that!

Otherwise, you are free to watch your fellow actors onstage. Many of them are children, and if there is anything more adorable than four little girls twirling around dressed as snowflakes (sparkly skirts, white eye masks), you haven’t seen it. Unless it is children in furry head-to-toe hobgoblin outfits trying to twist their perfect faces into grimaces. Or the dancing flowers — more children, these wearing big paper poppy and rose and snapdragon blossoms that bob on top of their heads while they do their flower dance.

They slay you, all of them.

You should do a play because rehearsals will crack you up.

You and John, the actor who plays Grandfather, make your entrances at the same time from one of the aisles, and in rehearsals you stand together in the shadows of the aisle, waiting for your cue. You are meant to enter as soon as Grandfather’s and Gerda’s cottage is brought onstage. But the cottage is not a small thing, and not an unwieldy one, and the stagehands are new to stage-handing, and hauling the cottage onstage takes forever. The stagehands might as well be trying to maneuver the Queen Mary.

John has all the sweetness and patience of the character he plays, but even he sighs deeply while watching the maneuverings, waiting and waiting for his entrance.

“Couldn’t we just mime the cottage?” he whispers wearily one day, which makes you laugh so hard you have to cover your mouth with your arm.

Another afternoon, when rehearsal has run over by a few minutes — such is life in the theatre when a show has a cast of 28, with many scenes and set changes — the Snowflakes fail to make their entrance. The stage is empty of actors, as the Snowflakes are meant to be the first to appear in the scene.

“Where are the Snowflakes?” asks MJ, the director, from her seat in the audience. Silence.

“Snowflakes?” she asks again.

Finally, an adult’s voice, calling from backstage: “The Snowflakes went home.”

Weeks later, whenever you think of it — driving your car, standing on line at the check-out counter — you laugh out loud.

In addition to the human Snowflakes, the production features a device that sends snowflakes onto the stage from the rafters. A sheet, suspended horizontally, like a hammock, hangs above the stage, visible to the audience. Inside the sheet are tiny pieces of white paper. The sheet has many holes the size of silver dollars cut into it, and is attached via a hidden rope to a long pole. When the stage manager, standing in the wings, pulls on the pole, the sheet shimmies, and, presto, snowfall: the tiny pieces of paper flutter down through the air and onto the stage.

Like Fred Flintstone’s pedal car, it is a deeply low-tech device, which means that the snow falls unpredictably. Sometimes a blizzard of flakes pour out, other times barely a flurry. Either way, the flakes are beautiful dancing through the air. Something about the pretty flakes, and about the imperfect contraption itself, moves you nearly to tears. It’s as if it is saying, look, here is a sheet, here is snow, pretend with us. It’s like folk art, homemade and brilliant.

At one point, someone suggests to the director that the show would be better served by renting a fancier apparatus, a state-of-the-art theatrical snow-making machine.

“I like this one,” she says, and you think, me too.

There comes a moment, in the days before you are to open, when it looks as if the show will surely be a calamity. The people in the booth are still learning light and sound cues — characters are plunged into darkness mid-speech, and the occasional sound effect of cracking ice comes at the wrong time, or not at all. The Snow Queen’s white Birds, who accompany the splendid sleigh that conveys her, forget to flap their wings, the Hobgoblins forget to make their faces. The sleigh takes almost as long to haul onstage as the cottage, and the Snow Queen keeps catching her ice-blue satin gown on the tip of its runner.

You yourself are not exactly helping matters. Malika, who plays Gerda, and Dillon, who plays Kai, have hundreds of lines between them, and they remember them all. The old-lady Storyteller has exactly one line to memorize. It is the last line of the play, and contains a surprise. You are meant to get off your stool, hobble in an old-lady way to center stage, and say, “For I am Gerda, the little girl who loved the little boy, and although we are grown old, it is always summer in our hearts.”

At the dress rehearsal, this is the version that comes out of your mouth: “I am Gerda. I used to be a girl. Now we are old. But it is still summer.”

You sound as if you are reciting very bad Hemingway. Or a telegram. If you do this in front of an audience, forget about any missed light cues or skipped sound effects spoiling the evening. You will ruin the play, or at least its final moments, all by yourself.

At the end of the dress rehearsal, the director speaks to the assembled cast. “Another week of rehearsal, and we’ll be fine,” she says, managing to smile. It’s a joke, because you open tomorrow.

And then, the next night, in front of an audience, it all works. The cottage and the sleigh glide on and offstage, the Hobgoblins make their faces, the ice cracks, the lights brighten and dim when they should, you remember your line. One of the Birds forgets to wear her mask, and the snow machine creaks a little, but these are small things. How is it possible for a show to come together overnight? Time and again, this is what happens in theatre, and, like an act of levitation, no one can explain it.

There are 15 children in the play, but in the green room it feels more like 40, or 700. The grown-up actors take informal turns shushing the children during the show. You yourself offer to pay money to one chatty group if they will sit quietly. This works like a charm, until it doesn’t.

But really, they are mostly so good, so polite. “Is it all right if I take a cough drop?” they say when they spot your stash. After the show, the hallway backstage is filled with children, flushed and beaming.

“Good show!” they say, holding out small hands for you to high five.

In the weeks that follow the play, you miss the children. You miss the grown-ups, too — among them Jill, of the radiant smile; Chelsea, Deb, Kristi, Ali, Luis, Toni, Cynthia. And Anna, the mean Snow Queen, who couldn’t be mean in real life if her life depended on it.

Sometimes you run into one of the grown-ups or children.

“Wasn’t that fun?” you say to each other. “Wasn’t that the best?”

Yes, it was.

Jenny Allen lives in West Tisbury. Her collection of essays Would Everyone Please Stop? was published in June.