info about the stories and themes of ArtReach's plays
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?
Jacks Giant: 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.
Bigfoot: 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.
and the Beanstalk! School Play Musical for Children to Perform!
Paul Bunyan: 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.
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.
Goliath: 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.
through Drama: Sleeping Beauty
What is a
Spinning Wheel Anyway?
THE SPINNING WHEEL
the spinning wheel? As with many inventions of the era, no one
individual can be credited for its creation. Unfortunately, no
authentic spinning wheels survive from medieval times so primary
evidence comes from images and written records of the era.
wheel evolved from ancient times when spinning was done on a spindle,
which is basically a stick with a stone or weight attached.
Theatre Company, ON - Greenbier Valley Youth Theatre
sometime between 500 and 1,000 A. D., somewhere in China, Persia or
India and (perhaps inspired by the riches to be made in the Eastern
silk trade), someone turned a spindle on its side, added a pulley and
connected it to a drive wheel. The spinning wheel was born.
invention met strong resistance by the time it reached Western Europe
in the early 13th century. Wool merchants saw it as an impairment in
quality by producing thread that was lumpy and uneven.
spinners often used a distaff, (a stick with a fork or comb on the
tip used to hold long-staple fibers while spinning) to hold their
fibers while they were spinning with a spindle. Although time
consuming and awkward, the method produced more consistently even thread.
the machine was simply more economical, saving almost half the work
of hand spinning and, with the later addition of a foot pedal... the
spinning wheel was off and running.
History of the Magic Carpet
Before people would consider space shuttles or
even jumbo jets, they imagined a fantastic form of aerial transport -
a magic carpet or flying carpet. These fanciful floorings could
levitate great loads and travel at speeds then beyond fantasy. From
their beginnings in the ancient world, legends of flying carpets have
traveled across millennia and continents alike.
Magic Carpet in ArtReachs Aladdin
Young Aladdin Cast, Solano Youth Theatre,
Origins of the Magic Carpet
Legend has it that biblical King Solomon owned
a huge magic carpet - at least large enough to bring the King's
entourage along. Several hundred years later, the enchanting queen
Scheherazade told her husband stories of flying carpets in Arabian
Nights. Fortunately, the queen's storytelling chops ended the king's
practices of summarily beheading his wives after one night.
The Flying Carpet in Western Lore
These Eastern stories have enchanted the West
for centuries; flying carpets pervade our popular culture today. At
the end of World War II, the United States turned its aircraft
carriers and other vessels into giant floating dormitories,
dispatching them to bring servicemen home from far-flung lands. The
armed forces dubbed this effort "Operation Magic Carpet."
Late 60s rock band Steppenwolf rocked the chart
with a far-out (and perhaps pharmaceutically aided) "Magic
Carpet Ride." More recently, animated plumbers Mario and Luigi
contend with rug-riding enemies in the Super Mario Bros. video games.
While the original Aladdin legend has the
bandit using a rug as a getaway vehicle in ancient Baghdad, Disney's
westernized Aladdin whisks his midriff-baring gal Jasmine on a
carpet-borne dream date. Sadly, this is not an option for modern
sorcerers on the dating scene; in the world of J.K. Rowling's teen
warlock Harry Potter, the Ministry of Magic has outlawed flying carpets.
of Mulan Story
female warrior of ancient China
The Legend of Mulan
is based on an ancient Chinese poem that has been the inspiration for
countless films, books and television productions around the
world. It tells the story of a girl who wishes to save
her father from forced conscription in the Chinese army.
Dressed as a boy, she becomes a distinguished warrior and
heroine. Mulans spirit of adventure and courage
makes it a beloved story for children everywhere.
The play begins with the Ancestors of the Fa
family describing the country of China and its philosophy of "Yin
and Yang. The Chinese Emperor is introduced and his
assistant Momo instruct all in this presence to offer "respect
and honor. The Emperor says that he has information that
the country will be safe if they trust in him.
The Ancestors direct us to a valley where Mulan
and her Little Brother are playing at sword fighting. Mulan is much
better than her brother and dreams that one day she could grow up to
be a soldier. Father and family love her but disapprove of her
aspirations and wish that she conduct herself with more feminine
modesty that will lead to marriage. Though she promises to do
better, Mulan asks her father if her dream will ever come true.
Her father promises that it will.
But war is stirring up in the country and the
Emperor issues a decree that every family must send one adult male to
the army. Little Brother is too young and Father is too
old. Mulan begs the family to let her go but they tell her it
is against the law for a girl to serve. Father is resolved to
join, though the prospect of military life cannot be safe for him
since he is in a frail state of health.
Mulan begs the Fa Ancestors to help her save
her father. They tell her that she must go and introduce her to
the rabbit Pika, and the Dragon Imoogi, who will help her on her
journey. Imoogi tests the girl in martial arts and determines
that she is worthy of the task. In the morning, the Fa family
wakes to see that Mulan has taken the horse and fled to take her
place in the army.
Mulan, with Pike and Imoogi, travel to the
Imperial Army camp. Pika attempts to teach Mulan how to be like
a man but Imoogi objects. The dragon tells her that the way to
convey strength is to summon the spirit of the sword within her own heart.
The army Captain Cheng attempts to ready his
men for war. Momo, the Emperors assistant is with Captain
Cheng and believes the soldiers are of poor quality. Captain
Cheng says his problem is that there are not enough men. Mulan
introduces herself and shows him her superior ability to use a
sword. She tells him her secret is that she trusts in her heart
as well as her head. Captain Cheng is impressed and asks her to
fight by his side in the coming battle.
The Huns are headed by General Lu Bu who
believes that Captain Cheng has secret plans and sends one of his men
to discover them. Captain Cheng has sent Momo with orders to
the Emperor to send more troops. The Hun soldier Yu Fie stops
Momo on his journey, takes the orders and reports back to General Lu
Bu. With this information, the Huns now feel confident that
they will win the battle.
But the Huns had not expected to encounter one
such as Mulan (going by the boys name Me Lang). Imoogi
helps her and the audience conjure a chaos inducing storm.
Captain Cheng despairs and believes the storm will destroy his
battalions chances. Mulan reminds him to use his
heart. With Mulans encouragement he wins a sword fight
with General Lu Bu. Then, Mulan commands the army (audience) to
rise and raise their weapons to the Huns, forcing a retreat.
Mulan is hailed as a hero.
However, Captain Cheng has been injured by
General Lu Bus sword. As Mulan nurses him to health, the
Imperial soldiers tell her that she has been summoned to the Emperor,
who wishes to honor her bravery. Terrified that this event will
reveal her secret, Mulan runs away.
At the golden Imperial Palace the Emperor asks
to meet Me Lang but is told that the heroic soldier will not
appear. At last, Mulan does appear and finally reveals to all
that she is not a male soldier named Me Lang, but a woman named
Mulan. Momo insists she be punished, but the Emperor prefers to
honor her anyway. He offers her gifts and honors but Mulan says
she just wants to go home.
After the painfully long absence, Mulan returns
to her beloved Father and the rest of her family. They are
overjoyed to see her again. After greeting her they ask who is
the person standing beside her. It turns out that Captain Cheng
has followed Mulan from the Imperial Palace to her valley home.
He asks her father for permission to marry her but Mulan says she has
made up her mind. Though she respects her fathers wishes
this is her own decision. She has decided to marry Captain Cheng.
The Ancestors welcome the couple into the Fa
home and into the family that they represent. They speak of the
Chinese belief in yin and yang, offering their approval of the couple
to be wed.
"The firm, the
enduring, the simple, and the modest are near to virtue."
-- Confucius, The Confucian Analects
Comes Alive for School Students
Drama brings the lessons of
history into your heart
History is rich in drama and intrigue
perfect for childrens theatre scripts. World famous
playwrights, from Shakespeare to Arthur Miller, have used the events
of true stories as a basis for their most exciting plays.
ArtReachs plays AMELIA
EARHART, ANNIE OAKLEY
and LEWIS AND CLARK are
just a few examples of plays that bring history alive for young
audiences. Very popular, reaching thousands of school students
throughout the country, are the Cherokee plays YOUNG
CHEROKEE and TRAIL OF TEARS.
These plays bring to life the myths of the ancient tribe and tell
the tragic story of their removal from their native lands.
Western Carolina University
Theatre in Education, Cullowhee, NC
ArtReach plays are well researched, fast paced,
with exciting audience participation. Many of the plays come
complete with Study Guides to give teachers the resources for
meaningful classroom activities that give a deeper understanding of history.
Looking for a subject for your next school
tour? Turn the pages of time and discover a world of thrilling drama!
ArtReachs A Thousand
Cranes is based on a true story!
Sadako Sasaki was a Japanese girl living in
Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan (August 6, 1945).
In 1955, at age 11, Sadako was diagnosed with leukemia, a type of
cancer caused by the atomic bomb.
While in the hospital, Sadako started to fold
paper cranes. In Japan, there is a belief that if you folded 1000
paper cranes, then your wish would come true. Sadako spend 14 months
in the hospital, folding paper cranes with whatever paper she could
get. Paper was scarce so she used the paper from medicine bottles,
candy wrappers, and left over gift wrap paper. Her wish was that she
would get well again, and to attain peace & healing to the
victims of the world.
Sadako died on October 25, 1955, she was 12
years old and had folded over 1300 paper cranes. Sadakos
friends and classmates raised money to build a memorial in honor of
Sadako and other atomic bomb victims. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial
was completed in 1958 and has a statue of Sadako holding a golden
crane. At the base is a plaque that says:
Thousand Cranes for Sadako
John C. Fremont Charter School,
Merced, CA - Lansing Middle School, NY
Although Sadako died at a very young age, her
legacy continues. To this day, the paper crane is probably the most
recognized origami model. The paper crane is often given as a wish
Sadako's brother (Masahiro Sasaki), who is now
over 70 years old, saved five of the original paper cranes folded by
his sister when she was in the hospital. He hopes to donate the
remaining 5 cranes to the the five continents of the world.
1990: In Seattle, Washington, USA, Nobel Peace
Prize nominee, Dr. Floyd Schmoe, built a life-size statue of Sadako.
The statue was unveiled on August 6, 1990, 45 years after the bombing
of Hiroshima. The statue is in the Seattle Peace Park and often has
paper cranes draped over it. [Photo from wikipedia.com]
Unfortunately, not everyone is at peace; the statue was vandalized in
2003 and again in 2012. The statue has been repaired.
Plays are Vital for Education
It's vitally important -- not
Almost every day we hear it from one of our
teachers my school is cutting back on the arts!
Now its your job to tell the powers that be why you absolutely
must produce a school play this year!
Creative Thinking and Useful Play! Kids
learn how to use their own imaginations to confront daily issues and
learning experiences. Learning how to perform a fictional
character and how to convey ideas on stage light a kids mind on
fire. An exciting rehearsal will spark inspired participation
Teaches Kids to Work Together! Kids learn
to take time and show patience and cooperation with their classmates
and friends that may never happen in a classroom sitting at their
desks. Students read, move and think together. Rehearsing
a play invites everyone to put down their phones and really listen to
and enjoy interaction with others.
Builds Confidence! Real confidence comes
from real accomplishments. Nothing is better for a childs
self-esteem than applause. During rehearsal, otherwise shy kids
may trigger positive reactions from fellow classmates.
Laughing, clapping, participating together helps kids find
self-assurance and acceptance.
Improves Reading Skills! Some kids are
never going to sit down a read a novel. But they will read a
script because the script includes them! Maybe a child is not
clever and witty in real life, but for a moment he can be those
things in front of an audience. Suddenly they love good writing
School plays bring theatre into kids
lives and improve their ability to learn and enjoy life. This
is not an option. Its vitally important to every
childs successful education.
the Beanstalk Play is Full of Folk Music
the Songs in ArtReachs Jack
and the Beanstalk
Froggy Went a Courting:
This great old story song has quite a history. Some people claim that
it goes back 400 years to England, and that the frog is actually a
French Duke while the mouse is Queen Elizabeth I. It has been popular
in America since colonial times, and it seems to change a little with
each person who performs it. In some versions of the lyrics include
"uh-huh, some "mm-hmm, some "hey hey.
Look the song up and you will find there are so many versions with
so many verses you could sing this song all day!
Tucker was a Mean Old Man!
"Old Jack he went a running and he did
run, uh-huh!" - Tale Tellers!
Polly Wolly Doodle: This
familiar American song dates back to the Civil War where it was a
favorite in minstrel shows. It came to be used as a
"walk-around," often the finale of the show in which each
performer would step out to do a verse, answered by the cast and
audience, leading to a final verse with everyone joining in clapping
and dancing. Polly Wolly Doodle appears in the existing manuscript
for Laura Ingalls Wilder's These Happy Golden Years.
Buckeye Jim: Made popular
by Burl Ives in the 1950s, Buckeye Jim was first recorded
around the time of the Civil War. There are many versions and some
believe it belongs in a category with "Limber Jim songs.
It may have come from the slave culture of the south since it
expresses a wish for escape and flight. It was heard most recently in
the animated film "Fantastic Mister Fox.
Old Dan Tucker: Published
in 1843 by Dan Emmett (the author of "Dixie) who also
claimed authorship, Old Dan Tucker may have evolved from a popular
slave song about a part-time minister who lived near Elberton,
Georgia. The song was popular around Northern and Southern campfires
during the Civil War. In later years it became a standard for
bluegrass and country music with recordings by Pete Seeger and most
recently, Bruce Springsteen.
On Top of Spaghetti: A
well-known parody of "On Top of Old Smoky deals with the
loss of a meatball "when somebody sneezed." It is a
well-known childrens song. The song appeals to kids because
its about an inanimate object that comes to life. A meatball
defies expectations, and defiancewithin reasonis usually
celebrated in childrens literature.
"All music is folk
music. I ain't never heard a horse sing a song."
-- Louis Armstrong
of ArtReachs Play The
"Now this is the Law
of the Jungle
as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it
but the Wolf that shall break it
As the creeper that girdles the
the Law runneth forward and back;
For the strength of the Pack is
and the strength of the Wolf is
Kiplings classic books, The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle
Book have been read and loved by generations of children and their
grownups. It can be argued that the main story is about a Mowgli, a
boy who was raised by wolves in the Indian Jungle. The greater
meaning of the story seems to be a call for peoples of every kind,
animal and human, to overcome lifes cruelties and work together
to order themselves and their actions in a way that serves the
greater good. ArtReachs new School Play version of the story
uses audience participation to bring everyone together to create
their own unique Jungle world.
The play begins with the storytellers
the Jungle-People reciting the law of the Jungle. They then
begin the story of how Mowgli was found one dark night. A Man-Father
was traveling through and was attacked by a tiger, the legendary
Shere Khan. Bagheera, the panther, witnessed the attack and also saw
that a human boy had been abandoned as a result. Bagheera takes the
baby to wolves Akela and Raksha to raise along with their own four
cubs. At first hesitant, Akela resolves to keep the Man-Cub but must
gain the permission of all of the pack at Council Rock. At Council
Rock, the wolves of the pack give permission and Bagheera promises to
educate the boy in the ways of the Jungle.
Years later Bagheera teaches Mowgli the
Master-Words and the Hunting Call. He also cautions Mowgli against
noticing the Bandar-log or Monkey-People. Though Mowgli is interested
in learning, he is a typical boy who loves to climb and swim and
doesnt take his lessons as seriously as his teacher would like.
A bad time comes to the Jungle in the form of
drought. All of the animals are starving and Akela calls everyone to
the Peace Rock. This is a rock that is exposed in the river when the
waters dry up and leave only a little water for the animals to drink.
Because the animals are starving, Akela calls a Water Truce, meaning
that they may all drink from the small supply of water but must not
hunt each other during the time of the Truce. All the kinds of
animals agree and the Truce is sealed by a prayer from Hathi the
great elephant with a chant of "Peace, Peace, Peace!
None of the animals are happy to see the great
tiger Shere Khan arrive at Peace Rock because he seldom cares about
the greater good and acts only for himself.
Shere Kahn tells the group that Mowgli the
Man-Cub endangers all Jungle creatures because when he grows up he
will be a Man, the enemy of the Jungle. The animals see the truth of
Shere Khans words, even though Raksha begs them to let her son
stay. Finally, Bagheera says he will take the boy to the Man-Village
and Mowgli makes his tearful goodbyes.
On the journey, Mowgli defies his teacher
Bagheera and runs away from him.
Kaa, the Rock Python, appears and uses her
large, shining eyes to hypnotize Mowgli. The Man-Cub falls for her
charms and is almost eaten when Baloo, a big bear, ambushes the snake
chasing her off and saving Mowglis life.
Mowgli loves his new friend, Baloo, who is easy
going and funny. The two of them hit it off and develop a friendship.
Soon, Bagheera appears and convinces Baloo that the boy must be taken
to the Man-Village in order to save his life and keep the Jungle safe
from Man. Mowgli feels betrayed and leaves them both, running off alone.
As he travels alone in the Jungle, Mowgli is
captured by the Monkey-People who swing him among the treetops and
have fun with him like a toy. They take him to their leader, the
Golden Queen of the Bandar-log. The Queen tells Mowgli that she wants
him to go to the Man-Village and bring her the Red Flower, which is a
word the animals use for fire. The Golden Queen tells him that Akela,
the boys wolf father, has been killed by Shere Khan.
Coming to Mowglis aid, the vulture Chil
flies in and restrains the Monkey-People so that Bagheera and Baloo
may rescue the boy. They tell Mowgli the sad truth, that Akela has
indeed been defeated and killed by Shere Khan. Once again the boy
defies his friends and runs away. Only now Mowgli runs straight for
the Man-Village with the goal of securing the Red Flower for his own use.
When Mowgli reaches the Village he encounters a
woman who seems to be the mother he left when he was a baby. Mowgli
begins to understand that he is not Wolf or Man, but he is both,
becoming another kind of Jungle-Creature. The Villagers recognize the
value of Mowglis mission and give him the Red Flower.
Mowgli runs back to the Peace Rock in the
Jungle and when he gets there, the tiger Shere Kahn is waiting.
Mowgli knows that he must fight the tiger in order to earn his place
in the Jungle. All the animals gather to see the struggle between the
two and recite the Law of the Jungle. Mowgli uses the power that his
human relations have given him, the Red Flower, to defeat Shere Kahn.
But unlike the tiger, Mowgli is generous and lets the tiger live.
When they are free of Shere Khan the animals
realize that Mowgli has earned his place among them and cry out
"All hail, Mowgli! and again recite the Law: "The
strength of the Wolf is the Pack!
Version of Kid Frankenstein
Compare ArtReachs Kid
Frankenstein to Mary Shelleys Novel
Mary Shelley published her most
famous book name="ref163626">Frankenstein; or, The
Modern Prometheus in 1818 and it has been fascinating readers ever
since. The story of a scientist who created a living being from
inanimate tissue has inspired an unending parade of satires, movies,
novels, cartoons and comic books. ArtReachs play Kid
Frankenstein is a light-hearted satire, comedy and fantasy, very
loosely based on Shelleys novel, which is intended for kids to
enjoy and perform.
SYNOPSIS OF THE PLAY
The play begins with students,
Kidz, introducing the weird and spooky event that happened at their
school. They begin their story by explaining that the Science
Fair was coming up and their friends Frankie and Irving had big plans
for their project.
Frankie and Irving are regular
kids with very vivid imaginations. We see them in Frankies
basement, pretending to be scientist and assistant. It all
seems like a silly fantasy until a package arrives. The box has
been sent from Transylvania and contains a book by Dr. Frankenstein,
explaining how he accomplished the amazing feat of creating a living
being. Frankie is delighted to have a blueprint for his
extravagant science project.
Frankie and Irving are late for
school the next day and are presented by the principal Mr. Klondike
to Mrs. Newton, the science teacher. Troublemakers, T-Bone and
his Gang of Bonez make Mrs. Newtons job difficult. She
introduces two locals who are making donations for the science
lab: Mr. Spots brings a monkeys brain and the nearsighted
Mrs. Magillacutty brings her late dogs brain.
Mrs. Newton assigns Helga to be
partners with Frankie and Irving in their science project. The
three friends pretend that they are in the laboratory where Frankie
has assembled a being made from stuff he found in his moms
freezer. He directs Irving and Helga to get the monkeys
brain to complete the project.
At night, Irving and Helga
attempt to sneak into the school to get the brain but are caught by
the Gang of Bonez who try to disrupt their plans. In the comic
fracas, the monkeys brain is dropped. Irving and Helga
get the dogs brain and take it to Frankie but they
dont tell him that they had to switch the brains.
Frankie has rigged his
laboratory with everything needed to bring his creation to life.
They are very excited when they flip the switch to give the creature
a life inducing jolt of electricity. However, the creature does
not move. Frankie believes all is lost. The kids leave to
eat dinner feeling that their experiment is a failure.
But in their absence, slowly the
Monster comes to life, dances around the laboratory and escapes to
explore the world. The town is in an uproar as there are
several sightings of a creature that cannot be explained. The
Monster comes to Mrs. Magillacuttys house. She cannot see
him clearly and assumes he is a local school student who would like
some chicken soup. When she goes to light the pilot light on
her stove the Monster goes crazy at the sight of fire, and runs away.
Meanwhile, Frankie and his crew
find the Monster. As Helga distracts him by playing her violin,
the boys drop a net over him, capturing him. They take him back
to the laboratory where they prepare him for the Science Fair.
Principal Klondike is keen to
get the Science Fair underway to distract the frightened population
from the worry of a Monster running loose. T-Bone and his Gang
of Bonez present their less than impressive Volcano experiment which
fizzles. At last, Frankie is thrilled to present his creature
the Monster who makes a show of himself by dancing to
Helgas fiddle. Surprisingly, the Bonez volcano
erupts belatedly, scaring the Monster. The kids wrestle him to
the ground and bring him back to the laboratory.
Learning the brain he has used
is the dogs brain, Frankie decides he must perform brain
transference. He hooks his head up to the Monsters head
but at the last moment, Mrs. Newton appears and stops him. It
turns out, Mrs. Newton was much like Frankie in her youth and she
knows what Frankie is up to. She knows that he must stop
now. Finally, Mrs. Magillacutty arrives, insisting that the
Monster is really her late dog and insists on taking him home.
The Monster loves the idea and everyone agrees.
All are gathered in the
laboratory when Mrs. Newton gives a strong defense for kids who love
science as Frankie does. She shares old stories with Frankie as
they depart and Irving flips the electric switch one last time.
At last the town is safe and Kid
Frankenstein has ceased his experiment. The Kidz end their
spooky story with a happy: "The End.
does not become great until human beings,
the courage and the strength, use it to create.
-- Maria Montessori
Christmas Wish from Lewis Carroll
To All Child Readers of Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll, 1871
At Christmas-time a few grave words are not
quite out of place, I hope, even at the end of a book of nonsense -
and I want to take this opportunity of thanking the thousands of
children who have read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, for the
kindly interest they have taken in my little dream-child.
Golfshore Playhouse, FL - Brandenburg
Elementary School, Irving, TX
The thought of the many English firesides
where happy faces have smiled her a welcome, and of the many English
children to whom she has brought an hour of (I trust) innocent
amusement, is one of the brightest and pleasantest thoughts of my
life. I have a host of young friends already, whose names and faces I
know - but I cannot help feeling as if, through "Alice's
Adventures" I had made friends with many other dear children,
whose faces I shall never see.
To all my little friends, known and unknown,
I wish with all my heart, "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New
Year". May God bless you, dear children, and make each
Christmas-tide, as it comes round to you, more bright and beautiful
than the last - bright with the presence of that unseen Friend, who
once on earth blessed little children - and beautiful with memories
of a loving life, which has sought and found the truest kind of
happiness, the only kind that is really worth the having, the
happiness of making others happy too!
Your affectionate Friend,
December 25, 1871
Transforms: Beauty and the Beast
Lessons From a Story Old as Time
By Joseph Dispenza and Dr.
The ageless children's story Beauty
and the Beast is one of the finest parables we have about the
transforming qualities of love -- and about one of life's most
important lessons: things are not always what they seem.
Magic for Your School
Dana Elementary School, Santa
Maria, CA - Solano Youth Theatre, CA
Here are some lessons from
Beauty and the Beast about choosing truth over appearances -- and
love over fear.
Virtually all spiritual literature warns us against judging people
and conditions. The reason is that when we judge someone or
something, we immediately put them in a kind of prison of our opinion
-- a prison which they cannot get out of and which we cannot get
into. If you think of a person as a thief, for instance, the person
is labeled forever -- and your judgment actually can make that person
act like a thief. Stay away from judgment: it limits perception and
keeps you in fear.
See the beauty.
Beauty is all around us, everywhere and at all times. But it is up to
us to actually see and appreciate beauty. Many people go through life
choosing to regard their reality as ugly and unsatisfying. They look
at the half-full glass and see it as half-empty. When all of life is
seen only as an opportunity to confirm the human experience as a vale
of tears and troubles, then it certainly becomes that! See life for
the beautiful journey it truly is, and watch miracles happen.
Complaining is another form of judging. When you complain, you are
automatically saying that people and situations are imperfect,
defective, and even ugly. Try to head off a complaint by taking a
second to question and reconsider your initial response. Even a brief
moment will give you the chance to see things in a different way. A
complaint is a comment that comes from a willful ego. Life will go
much smoother if you trade a complaint for a compliment.
Move beyond the appearance.
Things are not always what they seem. In fact, things are almost
always different from how they appear to the eyes and how they sound
to the ears. If you will find the truth about people and things, move
beyond appearances -- entertain exactly the opposite of what you are
seeing and hearing. The truth, like the prince, lies behind the wall
of the physical senses, in a place where only the heart can discern.
When given the choice between fear and love, choose love every time.
If the culture is presenting you with fearful visions, you can
personally dispel them by deciding to leave fear behind and go toward
love. In this way, by raising your own consciousness into a loving
place, you are lifting all of Consciousness with you. This is how
wars are stopped or prevented -- and how people and situations in
'terminal' conditions are healed unconditionally.
The lessons of The Beauty and
the Beast are everywhere in this enchanting fairy tale. We encourage
you to surround yourself this month with the energy of its
transformative teachings: love transforms everything, elevates
everything, and reveals your life as the truly beautiful experience
Cinderella is an Ageless Classic
Charles Perrault The
Charles Perrault was born in
Paris in 1628 to a wealthy bourgeois family. He attended the best
schools and studied law before embarking on a career in government
service. He took part in the creation of the Academy of Sciences as
well as the restoration of the Academy of Painting. When the Academy
of Inscriptions and Belles-Lettres was founded in 1663, Perrault was
made secretary for life.
Magic for Children to Perform
Solano Youth Theatre, Fairfield, CA
At the age of 55 Perrault tried
his hand at children's literature and in 1697 he wrote his famous
Contes de ma Mere L'Oye Tales of Mother Goose. Its publication
made him very popular and marked the beginnings of a new literary
genre, the fairy tale. He used images from around him such as the Chatename
au Ussé for Sleeping Beauty and in Puss-in-Boots, the
Marquis of the Chateau d'Oiron.
Perhaps because of his age,
Perrault did not sign his own name to the collection, but published
under the name of his 17-year-old son. Ever since, there has been
some dispute whether father or son wrote it, but the tendency of
scholarly opinion is to attribute it to the father.
The Contes were instantly
successful on their first publication and have remained enormously
popular ever since. Although the style of the tales in the
original French suggests the sophistication of the courtly audience,
by the time the tales were translated into English (by Robert Samber
in 1729), they were clearly directed toward a child audience.
In England, the fairy tales
became widely available through chapbooks (cheap, inexpensive books
sold by traveling peddlers) as well as other, more reputable
publications. The first American edition was not published until
1794, although the tales may have been available to colonial readers
through imported books.
Perrault's most famous stories
are still in print today and have been made into operas, plays,
movies and animated films. Some of Perrault's best known
- Sleeping Beauty
- Little Red
- Puss in Boots
- Little Thumb
- Donkey Skin
Charles Perrault died in Paris
is 200 Years Old!
most famous monster's birthday
Even National Public Radio is
celebrating the worlds most famous monsters
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
My La-bor-ra-tory! Ha-ha!
Three friends try to follow Doctor
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/
of Sleepy Hollow Script is Kid-Friendly
Halloween Script is Full of
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.
Loved Childrens Theatre
Every Child 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!
Librarian Nancy Hammer, Peter
Pan Cast, Shoultes Elementary School (WA)
At ArtReach we encourage educators to
concentrate not on what they dont 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. ArtReachs plays are designed to coax out
the treasures that already exist in the hearts and minds of every
student, young or old.
One of ArtReachs biggest fans, Sarah
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, Sarahs recent
production of ArtReachs TREASURE
ISLAND was huge hit. Mark Twain would have loved it!
Importance of Being Tinker Bell
Why is Tinker Bell one of
childrens theatres most beloved characters?
In the play PETER
PAN, Tinker Bell is Peters 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
doesnt know that since hes only a little boy.
Before its all over Tinker Bell has saved Peters 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 childs ultimate
imaginary friend. One who loves Peter no matter what and will
help him in lifes struggles and even save him from death.
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. ArtReachs 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 Bells 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 doesnt mean that this is a simple role to
perform -- only that a playful, imaginative child can truly convey
Tinker Bells rare and magical gifts.
ArtReachs Wizard of Oz so popular?
Its not hard to understand
why teachers all over the world recommend ArtReachs version of WIZARD
OF OZ over all others.
This script is one of the most beloved because
it stays true to L. Frank Baums 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 childs 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 cant everyone who wants to play the girl
from Kansas have her own special moment?
Script Sparks Kids' Imaginations!
Stage Kids (CA) & Shoultes Elem (WA) - Up
to 4 Scarecrows!
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.
is Theatre Not TV
So you 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
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.
of Sleepy Hollow: Scary story or practical joke?
Washington 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.
( 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 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.
Dragons Teach Us About Bullying?
The Reluctant Dragon Takes on
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.
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?
Are 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.
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.
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
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
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, 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?
"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 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.
Wonderland is a Christmas Play?
Read The Story of Alice in
-- Lewis 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.
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 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 holiday spirit.
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.
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 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!
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
I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense.
-- Lewis Carroll, Alices
Adventures in Wonderland
Christmas Carol, the Worlds Favorite Holiday Story
Christmas Carol by Charles
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.
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 (six shown below).