was written by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. She started
writing the story when she was 18, and the first edition of the novel
was published anonymously in London on 1 January 1818: It is
still available for kids today: Frankenstein (Junior Classics
for Young Readers) Discover Books, Dalmatian Press.
responded positively to Frankenstein positive since the mid-20th
century. Director Guillermo del Toro describes Frankenstein as
"the quintessential teenage book", adding "You don't
belong. You were brought to this world by people that don't care for
you and you are thrown into a world of pain and suffering, and tears
and hunger. It's an amazing book written by a teenage girl. It's mind blowing."
is a transmedia project, studying the learning that occurs when
people participate in a combination of hands-on activities and
immersive digital experiences. The Frankenstein200 kit includes seven
hands-on activities that encourage creativity and reflection about
Check it out
Legend of Sleepy Hollow Script is Kid-Friendly
Script is Full of Hilarious Comedy
You might be surprised during
the first few minutes of ArtReachs The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Rather than recoiling in
horror, youll be laughing your socks off!
Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been adapted especially for kids and
family audiences. Irving Washingtons famous American tale
takes center stage, with his story and language in tact. The
bumbling school teacher Ichabod Crane woos his hearts desire,
the plumb and blushing Katrina, never suspecting that he is the butt
of his rival Brom Bones practical joke. Katrina has no
intention of dropping her brawny beau for the school teacher, she
just plays coy until Brom wins the match.
The Ride of the Headless
Horseman! Great Roles for Middle, Jr/ High School.
Never too scary
for the little ones!
LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
Laughs and audience
participation make this a great play for Halloween
entertainment. Clearly drawn instructions for building a
Headless Horseman costume are included in the Teachers Guide, making
it easier for you concentrate on comic timing. Dont
hesitate to assure your young audiences that, though there will be
moments of thrilling fright, theyll leave the theatre laughing.
Twain Loved Childrens Theatre
Deserves Theatre in School
Theatre is a great educational feature. The time ought to come
when a child's theatre will be a part of every public school in the land.
Mark Twain (The New York
Times) August 10, 1909
The occasion of Mark
Twains quote was the closing of East Side Playhouse due to lack
of funds. Just one year earlier Mr. Twain had delighted in a
performance of an adaptation of his book, The Prince and the Pauper,
produced for a young audience. Our most beloved American
author knew more than a century ago what we all know now,
childrens theatre should and must be a staple of feature of education.
For many years, we would hear
from teachers who lamented the fact that there could be no drama club
at their schools because they had no stage. Sometimes they
would say their school could only afford a few dollars toward the
expense of a theatrical production. Without sewing
machines there could be no costumes. Without a work shop there
could be no scenery. But anyone who has read or seen an
ArtReach play knows that none of these things are needed to put on a
wonderful show that will light kids imaginations and make their
parents fairly burst with pride!
ArtReachs version of THE
WIZARD OF OZ was written just for kids. Fun, freedom and
creative joy are infused in every page of this script, inviting
children and directors to create a play that is meaningful for their
special kids. No hassle, no fuss and no demands. Whether
you are a professional or a first time director, you cant go
wrong with ArtReachs WIZARD
OF OZ. The script takes you by the hand and lets you and
your kids find your own yellow brick road.
Pan is Theatre Not TV
didnt like the TV Special PETER PAN LIVE? Almost nobody
did. Heres why.
The TV Special Peter Pan Live!
had hardly begun before twittering folks all over the country were
sharing their displeasure. It seemed everyone was disappointed
in this most anticipated production. Why?
Allison Williams and
Christopher Walken gave heartfelt performances. The scenery and
costumes were unique, colorful and imaginative. The songs were
the same great songs we remembered. So why did so many folks feel let
down when they watched this beautiful and exciting TV event?
At ArtReach, we realized long
ago that a live performance never translates to video or TV.
Television productions are written, acted and edited for
televisions unique platform a screen. A stage
performance is a once in a life-time event, and its magic depends
entirely on the interaction and participation of a live
audience. When we watch live people pouring their hearts out on
stage we engage, sympathize and feel invested in the success of the
performance and performers we are watching. We are as
exhilarated as the performers because for just a short while we are
sharing an extraordinary moment of human connection.
Pan, North Shore Children's Theatre, Salem, MA
J. M. Barrie wrote PETER
PAN specifically for the stage. He didnt write his
novel PETER AND WENDY (which is now in the public domain) until long
after the stage plays spectacular success. Never was
there a story that depended more on the delicate interaction between
actor and audience. Try as they might, the best actors
directors and designers in the world cannot save PETER PAN from
looking bland and lifeless on a TV screen.
People reacted negatively to
the TV Special Peter Pan Live! simply because they instinctively
wanted more. They could feel in their bones that this would be
terrific if only they were actually there to expereince it.
Thats why no matter how many media screens we own on our TVs or
our phones; we will still seek out live theatre performances.
Peter Pan will always fly into our hearts, as long as theatre lives.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Scary story or practical joke?
Irvings classic story is just a fun, practical joke!
Hollywood and many
contemporary storytellers like to link The
Legend of Sleepy Hollow to stories like the contemporary Friday
the Thirteenth or The Walking Dead, with lots of terrifying ghosts
and gory un-headings. In fact, Washington Irvings story
is about nothing more than a practical joke played by one man upon
his rival; an attempt to secure his intended ladys hand.
for Headless Horseman Costume in Teacher's
Katrina is wise to Brom
Bones joke. She knows that the hills of Sleepy Hollow are
not haunted any more any other place in the new republic. She
enjoys watching as participating as Ichabod Crane is scared into
believing in ancient haunts. He is nothing more than an
unwitting participant in her dance of courtship with the brawny Bones.
Brom Bones, sensing that
Katrinas head is momentarily turned by the
"sophisticated school teacher from Connecticut, attempts
to show her what a coward he really is. Katrina plays along,
seeming to be convinced of Ichabods superiority, until at last
she gets "her man.
Though Johnny Depp and the
producers of the movie, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, want to offer a
scary Halloween thrill, Washington Irvings original story is
considerably less bloody. Irvings character Brom Bones is
successful in scaring his rival Ichabod Crane from the Hollow,
securing his pact with the lovely Katrina who happily joins her
darling Brom in an enthusiastic trip down the chapel aisle.
Can Dragons Teach Us About Bullying?
Reluctant Dragon Takes on the Bullies
Kenneth Grahames classic
story strikes a chord with contemporary readers because it stirs in
us a natural compassion for others. In The
Reluctant Dragon we meet a dragon who is a misfit among mythical
beasts a peaceful soul who just wants to enjoy life with
friends. Similarly, the boy who meets the dragon is
misunderstood and longing for excitement. We cheer at the end
because we are pleased to see the underdog triumph.
Your Dragon in Three Easy Steps!
In ArtReachs version of The
Reluctant Dragon, Widget and Hairytoes are plagued by the
neighborhood bullies, the Grody Gobsters. As members of a group
who consider themselves superior to others, the Gobsters have none of
Widgets insecurities or yearnings. As a result they tease
and pester our heroes and even call for the destruction of their
beloved dragon. Though this play is set in a fairytale
world with lots of laughs and a satisfying final solution, we know
that similar stories in life do not always end so happily.
Have your students read
Grahames classic short story. Then read the first in the
popular series of books How to Train Your Dragon, which was inspired
by the classic. Have them discuss the similarities and
differences in the stories. How is the theme of bullying used
in order to make the story more contemporary? Then use the
discussion of this literature to launch a deeper discussion on
bullying in your school.
Plays v. ArtReach Plays: Whats the Difference?
ArtReachs plays better than a Broadway Musicals for kids?
Broadway plays are written for
professional adult actors who have spent long years studying their
craft and have already proven their exceeding talent.
Professional actors have trained to deliver long, difficult speeches
and have spent years learning the most advanced vocal and physical
moves. Broadway plays also rely on expensive and state-of-the-art
technical stagecraft. These scripts are usually quite long
with elaborate scene changes and an intermission. Also, since
big productions are star vehicles, the spotlight will always linger
on the star of the show rather than the team of performers who
support the project as a whole. Though some of your most
talented kids may clamor to do the original, is it really the best
choice for your school?
has a Role in ArtReachs Peter Pan
Pan -- Shoultes Elementary School, Marysville, WA
ArtReachs School Plays
are written just for kids to perform. There are no long
speeches or difficult scenery requirements. Peter
Pan, for instance, allows up to four kids play the coveted role
of Peter Pan so that not one child is the star. Even better,
each and every other role has a distinct name and at least a few
lines to give them their big moment to shine. Special
kids and kids in wheelchairs may be cast and given the chance to fit
right in with the team of performers. No one is discouraged, no
one dreads rehearsals. Best of all, you have the right and
ability to change the play write lines, characters, songs
in order to serve your unique group of superstars!
Ask yourself, do you
want to start out with a script that may be too difficult for many
kids? Do you want to encourage only the brightest talents, or
do you want to allow everyone to have the most positive
experience? Do you want to bring out the best in each
every child in your cast? Check out any of ArtReachs
School Plays and youll soon see the difference.
is Daydreaming in Motion
Any child can
ride a giant crane or become a princess!
Like all artistic expression,
theatre is a celebration of lifes experiences. For
children it is even more. It is a reaching for the future, an
exploration of what is to come, a lovely excuse to dream about the
path that lies ahead. Any child can ride a giant crane or
become a princess, a wizard or a knight in shining armor. Any
child can kick around all the reasons why princesses do what they do;
experience all the obstacles and triumphs involved in slaying that
pesky dragon. Navigating through a theatre world is daydreaming
in motion. And it can be a wondrous and nurturing place to grow.
Plays offers lots of information and suggestions to enhance the
learning experience and many tips on directing. You can pick
and choose what makes the most sense for you and your students.
You know what to do with it youre the teacher!
Our children have a long dream
ahead of them. This is the place for them to test their
creativity, explore their farthest limits, and to begin to understand
the place they will take in the real world. All the
things that might worry you, the things you might think are important
costumes, scenery, learning lines, getting it right, making it
"good have very little to do with the blossoming
that is going on in a young players mind.
Every ArtReach school play has
been written to take the emphasis off of all that, leaving you to
concentrate on what really matters. Its the process -
that feeling around in the dark - that means the most.
Place your emphasis on the joy of creation. At every bump in
the road choose the path of fun and exploration. Give your
young friends a safe place to "play and imagine.
Give them roots and wings&ldots;
And guess what? I
promise you the play will be better than your wildest dreams!
Velveteen Rabbit: The Power of Love
Margery Williams tell us about love in her wonderful Christmas Classic?
Margery Williams beloved
classic seems to tell us that love makes us Real. Since The
Velveteen Rabbit longs to be Real and eventually becomes a wild
bunny, its easy to miss the deeper meaning.
The Boy loves his toy rabbit
so much that the toy shows its age and becomes shabby. But is
Williams really talking about how much a Boy loves a toy?
isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a
thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long
time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
As we age we become shabbier
just like the Velveteen Rabbit and his mentor the Skin Horse.
We may suffer a few bumps and scrapes along the way, but sooner or
later we go out of doors and find our own path in a wild new world.
Just as Michael (The Boy in
ArtReachs version of The
Velveteen Rabbit) recovers from illness and begins to pursue his
dreams, so do we all break free of the trappings of childhood and
find strength in the past to begin a new future. Although,
Margery Williams story will bring a tear to your eye, it is
really a very hopeful story about a Boy who is stepping out into his
own new world and finding the courage to pursue a happy adulthood.
As the play ends, everyone
gathers around the Christmas tree. Michael realizes that love
of family and friends (real and imagined) has carried him through the
difficulties of childhood and he is now prepared to face the future.
and Sixth Grade Students Perform The Velveteen Rabbit
Canfield Village Middle
School, Canfield OH - Lower Lake High School, CA
Canfield Local School
and sixth grade students will be performing the original "Toy
Story" The Velveteen Rabbit at Canfield Village Middle School.
The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real, is a British
children's book written by Margery Williams and illustrated by
William Nicholson. It chronicles the story of a stuffed rabbit's
desire to become real through the love of his owner. The
curtain goes up in the front gymnasium of Canfield Village Middle
School on November 9 & 10, at 7:30 p.m. and November 11, at 2:00
p.m. Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission is $6 for
adults and students. Children under four are free.
in Wonderland is a Christmas Play?
Read The Story
of Alice in Christmas Land
Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
If you thought
Wonderland was curious, wait until you visit Christmas Land!
Alice in Wonderland is one of the worlds most famous and
beloved classics for children. Alice
in Christmas Land gives the familiar story a musical holiday twist.
The play begins
as Lewis Carroll calls for Alice who must be hiding. While he
looks the Storytellers begin the story describing merry old England
at Christmas time. When Alice finally presents herself Lewis
sees that there are not 1 but 6 Alices! He asks 5 of them to
sit down and wait their turn to play the part as the play progresses.
is determined to take photographs of Alice with his fancy
camera. But Alice is reluctant because she would rather
decorate the Christmas tree. Mr. Carroll agrees and Alice
unpacks the ornaments. To her surprise each ornament represents
characters in the stories that Mr. Carroll has told her. She
discovers the Queen of Hearts heart ornament and Mr. Carroll
tells her that this is the most important ornament of all because it
represents the spirit of love and kindness which is the center of
last Alice poses for a picture but as she does she becomes sleepy
and drifts into a dream. The next thing she knows, a White
Rabbit has entered and wakes her up. But this not the White
Rabbit she remembers from the story, this rabbit is dressed in a
Santa costume and carries a great sack on his back. However,
the White Rabbit seems to have no understanding of who Santa is and
what Christmas is all about. The Christmas White Rabbit
says "Mustnt be late! and disappears down his rabbit hole.
the rabbit and finds herself in a very unusual place. Little
does she know that she has fallen into Christmas Land where every
inhabitant has a very strange idea of Christmas. She finds a
bottle that says "drink me. When she drinks from the
bottle she grows very small, as small as a cupcake. A
Caterpillar comes along and tells her that tasting the cupcake will
make her grow. One taste of the icing and Alices head is
in the clouds!
come Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two little boys who are flying
through the air, lofted up by the propellers on their hats.
Alice asks them to take her flying and together they soar up so high
they see the Christmas star! Alice then asks them to help her
become the right size for a little girl again. They give her a
gingerbread man and tell her to eat part of it to grow down.
Alice meets the grinning Cheshire Cat who is now a Christmas Cat
with green and red stripes. The Cat has the habit of
disappearing and reappearing during their conversation. The Cat
sings a version of "Deck the Halls that seems crazy to
Alice. The Cat tells her, "Were all mad here,
and sends her along to the Mad Hatters tea party.
the Mad Hatter refuses to serve tea, claiming his party is really a
tree decorating party. But Alice doesnt see any tree and
has an absurd exchange with the Hatter about his tree that isnt
there. Dormouse sings a Christmas carol that is just as silly
as the Cats song. Alice declares, "No one here knows
anything about Christmas at all!
The Mad Hatter
sends Alice along to the garden of the Queen of Hearts where Alice
finds decorators throwing away yesterdays Christmas tree
ornaments and putting up new ones. Everyone seems terrified of
the Queen and indeed when the Queen appears everyone runs away.
The Queen asks
Alice to play croquet and Alice agrees. But this is not like
any croquet game Alice has played before. The mallets are
flamingos, the arches are people from the audience and the balls are
hedgehogs. After an attempt to play the game, Alice tells
the Queen that she cheats. This prompts the Queen to sing of
her own virtues and call for Alices head. Alice calmly
informs the Queen that there must be trial first.
the trial the Queen accuses Alice of sending a Christmas card,
claiming the fact establishes Alices guilt. At last,
Alice pulls the heart ornament that Mr. Carroll has given her and
presents it to the Queen. Alice tells the Queen that she should
represent love and kindness, symbolized by the heart, because
thats what Christmas is all about. If she did, Alice
tells her, "All of your subjects would understand Christmas a
great deal more than they do now!
The Queen is
outraged and cries "Off with her head! All the
Alices appear together and demand that they should like to see the
Queens head off. All Alices ask for the
audiences help and together they drive the Queen away.
Soon Alice is
sleeping as before and awakens to hear Mr. Carroll and everyone
singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas. As Alice
tells Mr. Carroll about her dream, each of the characters appears
before her. The Queen appears, demanding her heart. Alice
says "With this, you can be the very best Queen there ever
was. When the Queen wishes everyone a Merry Christmas,
the crowd shouts, "All hail the Queen of Hearts!
tells Alice to keep each Christmas in her heart for all are precious,
prompting everyone to join in singing, "We Wish You a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year!
I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.
Carroll, Alices Adventures in Wonderland
Christmas Carol, the Worlds Favorite Holiday Story
Christmas Carol by Charles
Already the successful author
of Sketches by Boz, Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby,
The Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge and American Notes, Charles
Dickens (1812-1870) was one of the best-loved novelists of the time
when he wrote this short novel, which was completed in a mere six
weeks in tandem with the production of the eleventh episode of the
serially published Martin Chuzzlewit.
Originally published on
December 17, 1843, the book was rapturously reviewed and became an
instant success, the first 6,000 copies of its initial print-run
being sold out by Christmas, with 2,000 further copies from the
second printing snapped up by the 6th of January. While obviously
enormously popular from the outset, it has remained Dickens
most widely enjoyed work, with hundreds of further reprints and adaptations.
Dickens was completely
responsible for the entire production of the book, and he
commissioned John Leech (1817-1864) to produce a series of hand
colored etchings and wood engravings to illustrate the volume.
Little Mermaid - A Huge Success!
Shannan Smith, SCCS Performance Teacher
had a wonderful show with The
Little Mermaid, S.C.C.S.'s all school end of year play.
were about 50 students involved ranging from grades 2nd - 12th.
Missing the show and wanting more performances has remained the major
theme among various students. One of the seniors said, "I miss
going to practice after school, I'm glad I participated in theatre
before I graduated."
teaching here for 3-1/2 years, I've discovered that students who
participate in drama feel extremely satisfied and accomplished.
young actors bringing stories to life."
Santa Clarita Christian
School, CA - The Little Mermaid
year our K-6th grade students have the opportunity to participate in
bible based drama chapels. Once they are in junior high, they may try
out for the all school play, like The Little Mermaid. When in high
school, they really hone in their acting craft. The high school
students tend to take the major leads in school plays because they
are enrolled in an A-G accredited theatre class. While working with
them closely, Im able to educate the students on theatre
aspects such as improv, staging, the history of theatre and teaching
them about opportunities where they can create their own venues in
acting. Drama students are definitely stretched in every area
however, this helps the students to think quickly and present
thoroughly enjoy working with students in grades K 12,
engaging with the various levels of talent, watching them grow from
excited children to well-developed, young actors bringing stories to
life. Look for next year's play as we will be performing C.S.
Lewis's classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Those
rehearsals will begin after winter break. Thank you for coming out to
see this years show!
Earhart' aims to thrill young audiences
College in Rehearsal, Rock Island, IL
annual children's show, "Amelia
Earhart," offers young theatre-goers an exciting story and
a lot of history Sept. 23-24.
play tells the story of the first female aviator to fly solo across
the Atlantic Ocean, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
It uses headlines, remembrances, flashbacks and introspective
monologues by Earhart against the backdrop of music, styles and
politics of the 1930s and 40s.
exciting story and a lot of history."
Picture. "Amelia Earhart" cast members: from left, Peter
Alfano, a sophomore from Knoxville, Ill.; Rami Halabi, a senior from
Crystal Lake, Ill.;
Aubrey Lyon, a junior from Mount Vernon, Iowa. (Augustana Photo
will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Brunner Theatre Center.
Earhart" features Augustana students Aubrey Lyon, a junior
from Mount Vernon, Iowa; Rami Halabi, a senior from Crystal Lake,
Ill.; and Peter Alfano, a sophomore from Knoxville, Ill.
Dawson, a sophomore from Bloomington, Ill., serves as stage manager.
Emma Brutman, a senior from Vernon Hills, Ill., is the designer for
set and props.
children's show once again is directed by Augustana alumna Jackie
Wynes McCall '98. McCall earned an MFA in acting from Western
Illinois University. After touring and performing all over the
Midwest, her travels eventually brought her to The Old Creamery
Theatre in the Amana Colonies where she serves as the director of education.
are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens, students, and
Augustana faculty/staff, $5 for children ages 12 and under, and free
for Augustana students with ID. Tickets can be purchased online, at
the door or through the Augustana Ticket Office at 309-794-7306.
special showing of the play by Kathryn Schultz Miller will be
offered at 10 a.m. on Sept. 22 for students in grades 4-8. Schools
that make reservations for the show will receive a pre-visit activity
packet, enjoy the show and post-show discussion, and leave with
follow up activities that can be done in their classroom. For more
information about this special performance, email or call Christina