This page (Page
#4) has creative ideas
for directing a fun, successful play or musical. Check
out these examples used in ArtReach popular titles: Amelia
Earhart, Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Alice
in Wonderland, Wizard of Oz, Emperor's
New Clothes, Reluctant Dragon.
Dont forget, a Teachers Guide will come with your School Play
Package and contain many other ideas and inspirations!
An Award-Winning Play for Competition
Wins Awards for High Schools
When choosing a play for your
Middle School or High School students to perform, look no further
than ArtReachs One Act Plays and Touring Plays. Most of
these scripts can be performed by young adults with a cast size of 3
to 15 or more. One of our top award-winning plays is AMELIA
had a HUGE win with Amelia Earhart at our theatre competition!
We won All-Star Cast, Best Set, Best Technical Production, Best
Ensemble, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress! We will be
competing for the State!"
Jesse Tilton, Spain Park High
School Theatre, Hoover AL
the most of young performers."
Earhart, Oak Grove High School, Hattiesburg, MS
EARHART follows the heroine from her early attempts to make
history through to her tragic final flight. It's an
entertaining and surprisingly balanced look back on a period in
history where our country seemed obsessed with proving themselves as Americans.
This one act play is a
fast-paced drama that demands the most of your young adult performers
and gives them a great opportunity to show off their thespian
talents. Every year we hear from schools that have placed high
or even won first place in their drama competitions. Best of
all, ArtReach places no restrictions on your right to cut or edit the
script to fit the time constraints of your particular contest.
Your production of AMELIA EARHART
is sure to be a high-flying success!
is flexible for student casts of all sizes
Love ArtReachs Alice in Wonderland
IN WONDERLAND is one of ArtReachs most popular scripts
with lots of performances happening all over the globe! This
script for kids to perform stands out because it is easy to adapt the
script to the size of your cast and the ages of the young performers.
Play Version of the script works well for large groups of about
24. There are lots of small roles for young students such as
Dormouse, March Hare and the Queens Gardeners. If you
have young readers who may have trouble with memorizing lines, it is
quite all right to cast them as the Storytellers and allow them to
hold the script and read their parts on stage. Older kids who
really want to dive in will love the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter
and, of course, the Queen of Hearts. If youd like to
allow up to 5 girls to play Alice, each girls will enjoy her special
moment on stage. And dont forget, theres no reason
why Alice must be a girl. Try casting a boy by simply changing
the name to Alex!
script works well for large groups of students."
Five Alices --
Everyone Has Fun! Dramaworks Theatre Company, Budapest
Cast Version is great for a small sized cast of about 15.
This script is essentially the same as the School Play Version but
lines have been lengthened, giving each performer more to memorize
and more business to do. Storytellers become much more
important in this version, allowing kids to really use their
imaginations as they find ways to set the stage for each scene.
Because lines are longer, we often recommend this for Middle School
students who are not as intimidated by long speeches.
Almost every role in the play
may be played by either gender. And dont forget that you
may add lines, jokes, songs and scenes! It is quite all right
to make any changes to the script to make it the perfect vehicle for
your kids special performance.
Suggestions for Lively Children's Theatre
Directing ArtReach's Cinderella
and other ArtReach School Plays
Space: If the play is to take place in a
classroom, move all the desks to the back of the room. If this does
not allow sufficient space for the performance, push them against 3
sides and let the center of the room be part of the playing area
(with the audience, if any, seated around). For a bigger audience, a
larger room would be appropriate. The gym or cafeteria will probably
give you more space than needed. In that case use just half of the
room and arrange audience chairs in a horseshoe shape around the
the music room! Create a percussion stand."
Gretna Kids Playhouse Summer
Theatre Workshop, Gretna, LA
Instruments: Raid the music room! Gather as many
simple percussion instruments as you can find (chimes, xylophones
kazoos, whistles, rhythm sticks, jingle bells, etc.) Create a
"percussion stand" by arranging the instruments on a table
or a narrow ledge.
Some instruments will need to
be held up to be played (triangle, chimes, gong). The music room
might have a stand for these instruments. If not, you could build a
simple one (think "large cardboard box") or simply have the
children hold those up when they are played. CHORUS members (usually
identified by different colors) could be seated around the percussion
stand. They can act as narrators and orchestra in the tradition of a
Greek Chorus. (Occasionally, CHORUS members are given short on-stage
tasks to do.) Your percussion stand can be placed in the corner of
the playing area.
character's traits through acting rather than costume."
Gretna Kids Playhouse Summer
Theatre Workshop, Gretna, LA
There is a Japanese theatrical tradition of dressing
actors all in black and using masks or costume pieces to indicate
character. What a great idea! Have your young performers wear all
black or dark blue - or dark purple, green, have them choose! They
then add costume pieces such as hats, crowns and capes to identify
their characters. Keep it simple. Remember it's more important
(and more fun!) for your students to convey their character's
personality through acting rather than costume. CHORUS members can
wear different color tee-shirts to match their color-name or they can
bring a piece of clothing from home (ball cap, scarf, a towel used as
a cape) that is their color.
Rack: In one corner will be a hat stand, or
several hat stands. Any object with clothes hooks will allow you to
hang costume pieces (see below) that will be put on by the children
as they assume their roles. Some props, such as the Fairy Godmother's
magic wand, may be kept at their chairs where they are sitting.
About Allen in Wonderland?
What if genders
are reversed? Will Alice
in Wonderland be just as exciting?
in Wonderland is such a meaningful part of our childhood
literature that stays with us long after we reach adulthood.
Often we protect our childhood memories by demanding that our first
images of a story stay purified by our first imaginings and memories.
parts can be played by a girl
or a boy."
Greenbrier Valley Theatre,
GVTeens Program, Lewisburg, WV
Yet the most ingrained images
that we love and revere were at the start quite new and original,
ignoring stereotypes. Todays kids do not have the same
ideas of what a boy character and a girl character should
"want. And "wanting is the very thing
that brings a childs story to life. Aladdin
wants to be respected like a King; Cinderella
wants to be the kind of girl who would meet a prince at the
ball. Change the race, age, and gender of the protagonist
and you may find what a different story seems to be. The
new hero of our story may want nothing more than a small variation of
the original wanted object.
Alice, the girl who wanders
into and tries to understand Wonderland, may very well be a boy or a
girl. The absurdity (and thrill!) of Wonderland will be the
same to a child, regardless of gender. It is the same for
drama. Your job as casting director is simply to bring the
desires of the protagonist to life. Everything Alice wants can
easily be what Allen wants. Therefore, when you cast a play,
look for the actor who shows the most interest in the adventure.
Alice or Allen, the story will reveal itself with the greatest fun
and intensity if the actor who plays the lead part is the actor who
shows the most interested in the outcome.
Outside the Wizard!
Can you imagine
a world without The Wizard of Oz?
When L. Frank Baum sat down in
1990 to write Americans first fairy tale, he had to make the
whole thing up! Out of nowhere came his unique image of
characters that are so familiar to us now that they are part of our
Have your students imagine
that they are L. Frank Baum sitting down to a blank piece of
paper. Have them pretend that they have never seen the movie or
a play of The Wizard of Oz.
Have them draw an image of each character that is very different
from those we remember so well. In order to get them thinking
outside the box have them place these characters in a different
culture or climate. What if Dorothy was living in China?
What if the scarecrow lived in the Arctic? What if the Wicked
Witch had been born on a ranch in Texas?
you are L Frank Baum."
Corinth Theatre Arts, MS -
Tampa Creative Camp, FL
Creative scripts give kids
lots of ideas! Here the Tin Man has a most unusual take on the
costume! The Wizard of Oz! Great for Camps and Workshops!
Every now and then
ArtReachs receives photos of production that have taken a very
different turn from the designs we have seen in the books or
movies. Add a dash of creativity to your production by
making it look different than any other Wizard of Oz your audience
has seen. What a great way to get kids using the arts to look
at the world with new eyes!
the Show on the Road
Why Not Perform
Your ArtReach Play for Other Schools?
Hit the road, Jack! Most
ArtReach Plays are ideal for touring to local schools! A little
planning ahead can make it easy to share your wonderful production
with hundreds of kids.
Almost everyone agrees that
the arts are a vital part of a students education, but these
days schools are finding it more and more difficult to bus kids to
performing arts events. Less funding for the arts and the
rising cost of transportation mean kids miss out on field trips to
the theatre. But where theres a will theres a
way! ArtReach has always been first in providing plays that can
be performed in schools, on stages or in a large room.
All of ArtReachs touring
plays have been written for maximum imagination and minimum stuff to
fill your van. Each touring play features small casts such as
Emperors New Clothes, Sword in the Stone and Blue Horses
requiring mostly 2, 3 or 4 performers. Middle Schools and High
Schools will find ArtReachs Expanded Cast versions, such as
Amelia Earhart, Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin, are ideal for casts
of about 10-15 performers. Even the School Plays can be
performed for kids in nearby schools!
Call the schools in your area,
talk to the principal, and tell them that you have a great production
that you would like to perform for their students. Tell them
you even have a great Teachers Guide
that can be used in the classroom before the performance. Then
check all your scenery and props and eliminate anything that is not
necessary and line up vehicles to carry set and cast.
About a week before the
performance choose a Tour Manager (from your cast or backstage crew)
and visit the school to checkout the performing space as well as
parking options and entrances and exits. Meet the principal and
ask for any tips he or she might have for a smooth event.
Choose a cast member to make a pre-show speech and then hold a
question and answer period after so that kids in the audience can
learn more about the production.
Your cast gets to show off
their brilliant achievement one more time and lots of kids get to see
theatre! Theatre is a wonderful experience for all
spread it around!
Your Audience for Dragon Fun
participation gets everyone involved
ArtReachs script for The
Reluctant Dragon offers tons of audience participation!
Kids, teachers, grownups and everyone watching the performance has a
vital role to play. King Fancy Pants addresses them and even
asks for their help. Saint George is buoyed by the
audiences support and Widget is finally proclaimed a hero by,
you guessed it the audience! But you can draw your
audience in even more.
watching has a vital role to play."
Widget & Hairytoes train
their dragon! The King orders a battle!
Have a dragon pyramid,
Christmas tree or bulletin board in the lobby. Explain in the
program that each audience member is asked to draw a dragon on the
back and turn them in at the end of the show. Or if theyd
rather, they may draw their image of a white knight like Saint
George. While cast members are meeting audience members in the
lobby after the show, have helpers put up the pictures. When
all are ready for viewing, have the Town Crier ring his bell and
announce the art show!
If classes are attending make
sure you have lots of time for prepping before they see the
show. Read Kenneth Grahames classic story and then read
the summary of the script provided in the Teachers
Guide. Ask kids to discuss what elements of the story are
the same and which are different. Talk about why the author of
the play made certain decisions. Dont hesitate to talk
about drama, plays and other presentations they have seen and discuss
what makes a play different from a book.
Have young audience members
dress up like dragons for the show! If kids have a dragon
costume from Halloween have them wear it on the day of the show and
tell the class about it. Talk about dragons the kids have seen
in movies and TV shows. Do they have a favorite one theyd
like to dress like? An easy way to do this is to simply make a
construction paper headpiece or even decorate a ball cap.
Can you think of other fun
dragon based activities? Prepare your audience and they will
love the show!
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