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info about the stories and themes of ArtReach's plays
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about ArtReach's THE
Heart to a Happy Ending!
August 9, 2018
Nutcracker Prince is a dramatic adaptation of the story by
E.T.A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
The story was the basis for the beloved Christmas ballet scored by
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky that has been delighting children and their
families for decades. Now ArtReach has adapted the story for a
large cast of kids to perform.
As the play begins,
Storytellers welcome the cast to their small village which is
preparing for a very special holiday. It is Christmas and the
snow is falling. Clara and her brother Fritz are having fun
playing with the snow and throwing snowballs when Uncle Drosselmeyer
appears to greet them. He is a kindly and beloved man who
provides them with surprises each Christmas. Back at home,
Claras parents are preparing for Christmas Eve. There is
a magnificent tree and also the gift of a magical gingerbread
castle. When Uncle Drosselmeyer shows up he has gifts for the
children. First he gives Fritz a set of toy
soldiers. For Clara, Drosselmeyer has a special Nutcracker
doll. Claras cat Shadow is afraid of the doll but Clara
loves it. Fritz tries to crack nuts with the doll and breaks
it. Drosselmeyer assures Clara that the Nutcracker will get
well and puts the doll underneath the tree. Everyone agrees it
has been a lovely Christmas Eve and they all depart for a good
Clara worries about her doll
and creeps downstairs to check on him. She introduces him to
her other dolls, Mother Ginger and Katarina. Before she goes
back to bed, Clara kisses the Nutcracker. Little does she know
that the kiss has broken a spell! The Nutcracker and the dolls
now come to life and we are plunged into the make believe world of
A battalion of ruffian Mice
appears with the mission of finding better food than they are used to
getting in the house. They have set their sights on the
gingerbread castle. The Nutcracker Prince takes charge of the
castles defense calling all the toy soldiers to battle.
He dispatches them to the far reaches of the house to defend against
the enemy. Suddenly the Rat King appears and he is surrounded
by his adoring Mice.
The Rat King is determined to
get at the castle but just as he approaches, Nutcracker comes out of
hiding and draws his sword, setting off a battle between the Mice and
the Soldiers. The Rat King is defeated and dies an elaborate
death. The Mice carry him away.
Everyone cheers for Clara and
the Nutcracker explains that she has broken his spell. He
invites her to the wonderful Land of Sweets. Clara and Shadow
join the Nutcracker Prince on a thrilling journey through the castle
doors and on to a land of enchantment.
The Sugar Plum Fairy is
preparing for Claras arrival by directing the Snowflakes to
decorate the Land with sugary snow. When she arrives, Clara
sees that everything is made of candy. The Flowers appear and
direct the audience in the art of filling the Land with flowers.
The Sugar Plum Fairy tells Clara that she is now their
Princess. The Nutcracker Prince asks her to stay with them.
Follows her Heart to a Happy Ending!
Just as Clara is about to
answer, the Mice come marching into the Land of Sweets. The Rat
King appears to them and explains that he was never really dead.
Claras cat Shadow has been enjoying her stay in the Land of
Sweets and suddenly confronts the Rat King with a terrifying roar and
hiss! The Rat King did not expect to defend himself from
a cat! Shadow advances on the Rat King and the Mice until she
and the others drive them away.
Everyone cheers for Shadow and
now it is time for Clara to make her decision. Will she stay in
the Land of Sweets forever? Though she loves the
Nutcracker Prince and everyone in the beautiful Land, Clara tells
them that she wants to grow up to be a woman. Therefore, she
must go home. The sadness of her choice causes the dolls and
make-believe characters to go back to the original state as inanimate
toys. Clara calls out for her Nutcracker Prince as the dream
begins to fade and she wakes up.
It is Christmas morning and
Uncle Drosselmeyer is there to show her that the Nutcracker doll has
been repaired. Fritz has been imagining a wonderful battle with
his toy soldiers. He describes a battle that sounds a lot like
the one in Claras dream. Clara tries to tell the grownups
of her wondrous journey. But no one believes her. She
dances with the Nutcracker and remembers her Prince...
The Storytellers bring us back
to the small village and everyone dances in celebration of another
special Christmas Day.
nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood
stories. Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale...
The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
and the Beanstalk is Fun with Giants!
Let's Talk About
Get your kids talking about
the big stuff! Can they think of any other big
characters/giants in books, movies or TV? Discuss the
personality of the most well-known giants. If you were a giant,
would you be good or bad?
Often the first concept of a giant children are exposed to, nearly
everyone knows the tale of Jack
and the Beanstalk. The storys origin is somewhat murky,
with some scholars pointing to early Norse tales. There are dozens of
different versions of the story, but most include Jack climbing a
magic beanstalk to steal golden treasure and, eventually, murder the
giant that lives at the top, thus living happily ever after.
The Bigfoot, or the Sasquatch, is an animal which might exist but for
which little to no scientific evidence exists. Described as
ape-like, this missing link stands well over
six feet tall, prowling the wilds of America, particularly the
Pacific Northwest. Often the only clue left behind by the Bigfoot are
the enormous impressions of his feet, many of which if they
are fake are extremely realistic hoaxes.
Fie! Foe! FUN!
and the Beanstalk! School Play Musical for Children to Perform!
First documented in the stories bandied about by French-Canadians,
Paul Bunyan is a giant lumberjack. A larger than life character in
the tradition of many such tall tales, Paul played a role in various
creation myths, such as dragging his axe behind him to cleave out the
Grand Canyon. Bunyan is always accompanied by his pet, a blue ox
named Babe, of equal enormity. Giant statues of Paul and Babe have
become a roadside staple in dozens of towns around America.
The monster, which remains nameless throughout Mary Shelleys
gothic masterpiece, is described as being eight feet tall and clad in
transparent yellow skin, hideous beyond comprehension. Victor
Frankenstein tacks his beast together out of spare parts taken from
graveyards and slaughterhouses, and he is forced to make it huge
because of the inherent difficulty of replicating the tiny, intricate
parts of the human body.
Jolly Green Giant:
The mascot of the Green Giant vegetable company (a subsidiary of
General Mills), the Jolly Green Giant has been the subject of
innumerable television commercials, concluding with his trademark
"Ho ho ho. Upon his debut in 1928, the giant was a
stooped, menacing creature, but subsequent versions have been
increasingly genial, adopting a frock of leaves and an always present grin.
Arguably the most famous of all giants, Goliath was a massive
Philistine warrior who faced off against the Israelite army in the
Valley of Elah. Offering to defeat any Israeli in one-on-one combat,
Goliath was rebuffed, until the challenge was taken up by young
David. Eschewing armor, the smaller combatant knocked Goliath down
with a stone hurled from his sling, securing victory for the
Israelites and proving himself, by his valor and faith in God, to be
the one true king.
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