FREE RESOURCES: Behind the Scenes [ Page 4 ]
Background info about the stories and themes of ArtReach's plays
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Frankenstein is 200 Years Old!
The world's most famous monster's birthday

Even National Public Radio is celebrating the world’s most famous monster’s birthday!  Frankenstein still fascinates kids of every age!

Today on NPR:  "Two hundred years ago, a 20-year-old English author anonymously published the tale of a scientist – obsessed with the impossible – creating life. The story evolved into a classic. A masterpiece. Revered alongside Shakespeare. Byron. Melville. The book was decades – centuries, even – ahead of its time. Raising deep, existential questions about who we are, our responsibility in science, and our ethical obligations. This hour, On Point: Frankenstein rises again 200 years on. -- Jane Clayson”

Welcome to My La-bor-ra-tory!  Ha-ha!
Kid Scientists love 'Kid Frankenstein'! Frankenstein play for young people.
ArtReach's Kid Frankenstein

Frankenstein 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.

Critics have 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."

Frankenstein200 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 responsible innovation.
Check it out here:  https://frankenstein.life/


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Script is Kid-Friendly
Halloween Script is Full of Hilarious Comedy

You might be surprised during the first few minutes of ArtReach’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.   Rather than recoiling in horror, you’ll be laughing your socks off!

ArtReach’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been adapted especially for kids and family audiences.  Irving Washington’s famous American tale takes center stage, with his story and language in tact.  The bumbling school teacher Ichabod Crane woos his heart’s 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!  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Great Roles for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers!
The Ride of the Headless Horseman!  Great Roles for Middle, Jr/ High School.
Never too scary for the little ones!
ArtReach’s THE 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.  Don’t hesitate to assure your young audiences that, though there will be moments of thrilling fright, they’ll leave the theatre laughing.


Mark Twain Loved Childrens Theatre
Every Child Deserves Theatre in School

"Children's 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 Twain’s 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, children’s 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!

Mark Twain's Greatest Hits for Teens
One Act Play for Schools and Theatres -- The Mark Twain Show One Act Play for Schools and Theatres -- The Mark Twain Show
ArtReach Touring Theatre, The Mark Twain Show

At ArtReach we encourage educators to concentrate not on what they don’t have, but what they do have in abundance!  Every teacher and every student has a deep well of imagination that can be called on to delight, dazzle and enchant.   ArtReach’s plays are designed to coax out the treasures that already exist in the hearts and minds of every student, young or old.

One of ArtReach’s biggest fans, Sarah Ackerman-Hale writes:

"Directing plays inspired me to go back to school to become an elementary teacher. As I've completed my schooling, I've come to really understand and appreciate your philosophies about the emphasis being on the process, not so much the completed ‘product’.”

As you might have guessed, Sarah’s recent production of ArtReach’s TREASURE ISLAND was huge hit.  Mark Twain would have loved it!


The Importance of Being Tinker Bell
Why is Tinker Bell one of children’s theatre’s most beloved characters?

In the play PETER PAN, Tinker Bell is Peter’s best friend and constant companion.  She tags along with him to the Darling house, helps Peter find his shadow and sprinkles pixie dust on the children to help them fly.  She may even be in love with Peter though he doesn’t know that since he’s only a little boy.  Before it’s all over Tinker Bell has saved Peter’s life by drinking the poison that was meant for him.  And in a way, she has saved us -- the audience, by inspiring us to "believe”.

Tinker Bell is a child’s ultimate imaginary friend.  One who loves Peter no matter what and will help him in life’s struggles and even save him from death.

Tinker Bell is a fun part for shy kids!  Peter Pan! Great Parts for Young Kids!  Peter Pan!
Tinker Bell from Shoultes Elem (WA) & Welsh Hills Granville (OH)

In the original production of PETER PAN, Tinker Bell is seen only as a reflected light and heard only as the tinkling of bells.  ArtReach’s production allows the Tinker Bell to come fully alive onstage.  Instead of a light, a real performer uses only a kazoo and body language to communicate, which retains the effect of her original otherworldliness while allowing the young actor to fully embrace and enjoy Tinker Bell’s unique fairy/pixie character.

At ArtReach we often point out that Tinker Bell is a great role for kids who love to act but have trouble learning lines.  That doesn’t mean that this is a simple role to perform -- only that a playful, imaginative child can truly convey Tinker Bell’s rare and magical gifts.


Why is ArtReach’s Wizard of Oz so popular?
It’s not hard to understand why teachers all over the world recommend ArtReach’s version of WIZARD OF OZ over all others.

This script is one of the most beloved because it stays true to L. Frank Baum’s original book.  This no need for gimmicks, stage tricks or elaborate effects.  There are no long speeches or complicated sequences.  Just as Baum gave kids a safe place for dreaming in his classic book -- this version uses the written word as a structure for kids to hang their dreams on.  It uses the child’s innate impulse to play and invent – the essential elements that make the story so endearing.  Using creative play as its base, kids are allowed to be silly, to day dream, to explore a land of Oz that is distinctly their own.  Why just watch a storm appear?  Why not become the storm yourself?  Why should Toto stay in his basket when he has so much to do and say?  Why does there have to be just one Dorothy?  Why can’t everyone who wants to play the girl from Kansas have her own special moment?

 Creative Script Sparks Kids' Imaginations!
Fun Characters for Lots of Children to Perform!  The Wizard of Oz! Several kids get to play Dorothy and Scarecrow!  The Wizard of Oz!
Stage Kids (CA) & Shoultes Elem (WA) - Up to 4 Scarecrows!

ArtReach’s 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 can’t go wrong with ArtReach’s WIZARD OF OZ.  The script takes you by the hand and lets you and your kids find your own yellow brick road.


Peter Pan is Theatre – Not TV
So you didn’t like the TV Special PETER PAN LIVE?  Almost nobody did.  Here’s 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 television’s 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.

 Children's Christmas Musicals from ArtReach!  A Christmas Peter Pan! A Christmas Peter Pan!  Children's Musical Christmas Plays for Large Casts of Kids!
ArtReach’s Peter Pan, North Shore Children's Theatre, Salem, MA

J. M. Barrie wrote PETER PAN specifically for the stage.  He didn’t write his novel PETER AND WENDY (which is now in the public domain) until long after the stage play’s 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.  That’s 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.


The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Scary story or practical joke?
Washington Irving’s 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 Irving’s story is about nothing more than a practical joke played by one man upon his rival; an attempt to secure his intended lady’s hand.

The Headless Horseman!
The Ride of the Headless Horseman!  The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Small & Large Cast Halloween Plays for Children - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
( Instructions for Headless Horseman Costume in Teacher's Guide )

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 Katrina’s 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 Ichabod’s 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 Irving’s original story is considerably less bloody.  Irving’s 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.


What Can Dragons Teach Us About Bullying?
The Reluctant Dragon Takes on the Bullies

Kenneth Grahame’s 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.

Train Your Dragon in Three Easy Steps!
Train you Dragon Play for Kids! Widget trains his dragon - The Reluctant Dragon!

In ArtReach’s 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 Widget’s 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 Grahame’s 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.


Broadway Plays v. ArtReach Plays: What’s the Difference?
Are ArtReach’s 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?

Everyone has a Role in ArtReach’s Peter Pan
Peter Pan for a Large Cast of Kids!
Peter Pan -- Shoultes Elementary School, Marysville, WA

ArtReach’s 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 ArtReach’s School Plays and you’ll soon see the difference.


Theatre is Daydreaming in Motion
Any child can ride a giant crane or become a princess!

Like all artistic expression, theatre is a celebration of life’s 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.

 

ArtReach 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 – you’re 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 player’s mind.

Every ArtReach school play has been written to take the emphasis off of all that, leaving you to concentrate on what really matters.  It’s 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!


The Velveteen Rabbit: The Power of Love
What does 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, it’s 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?

The Velveteen Rabbit - Christmas Musical for Kids! Classic Story for a Musical Christmas
"Real 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 ArtReach’s 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.

Fifth and Sixth Grade Students Perform The Velveteen Rabbit
Christmas Musical Velveteen Rabbit Velvetee Rabbit Christmas Musical
Canfield Village Middle School, Canfield OH - Lower Lake High School, CA

Canfield Local School Newsletter:  Fifth 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.


Alice in Wonderland is a Christmas Play?
Read The Story of Alice in Christmas Land

"Curiouser and curiouser!” 
-- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

If you thought Wonderland was curious, wait until you visit Christmas Land!  Alice in Wonderland is one of the world’s 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.

Lewis Carroll 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 Heart’s 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 holiday spirit.

At 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 "Mustn’t be late!” and disappears down his rabbit hole.

Alice follows 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 Alice’s head is in the clouds!

Along 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.

Next 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, "We’re all mad here,” and sends her along to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

But the Mad Hatter refuses to serve tea, claiming his party is really a tree decorating party.  But Alice doesn’t see any tree and has an absurd exchange with the Hatter about his tree that isn’t there.  Dormouse sings a Christmas carol that is just as silly as the Cat’s 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 yesterday’s 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 Alice’s head.  Alice calmly informs the Queen that there must be trial first.

At the trial the Queen accuses Alice of sending a Christmas card, claiming the fact establishes Alice’s 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 that’s 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 Queen’s head off.   All Alices ask for the audience’s 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!”

Mr. Carroll 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!”

"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.”
-- Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland


A Christmas Carol, the World’s Favorite Holiday Story
About A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

PREFACE

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.  May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

    Their faithful Friend and Servant, C.D.
    December, 1843

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.

The Little Mermaid - A Huge Success!
By Shannan Smith, SCCS Performance Teacher

We had a wonderful show with The Little Mermaid, S.C.C.S.'s all school end of year play.

There 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."

After teaching here for 3-1/2 years, I've discovered that students who participate in drama feel extremely satisfied and accomplished.

"Well-developed, young actors bringing stories to life."
The Little Mermaid - Musical Play from ArtReach for Kids to Perform
Santa Clarita Christian School, CA - The Little Mermaid

Every 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, I’m 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 themselves well.

I 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 year’s show!

'Amelia Earhart' aims to thrill young audiences
Augustana College in Rehearsal, Rock Island, IL

Augustana's annual children's show, "Amelia Earhart," offers young theatre-goers an exciting story and a lot of history Sept. 23-24.

The 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.

"An exciting story and a lot of history."
Amelia Earhart Play for Young Audiences
Rehearsal Picture. "Amelia Earhart" cast members: from left, Peter Alfano, a sophomore from Knoxville, Ill.; Rami Halabi, a senior from Crystal Lake, Ill.;
and Aubrey Lyon, a junior from Mount Vernon, Iowa. (Augustana Photo Bureau/Amanda Moore)

Performances will be at 1:30 p.m. in the Brunner Theatre Center.

"Amelia 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.

Isabel 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.

The 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.

Tickets 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.

A 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 Myatt, 309-794-7611.

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