1 September 2016
When mounting a theatrical production, the main concerns usually center around casting logistics and rights to shows. Are there enough roles? Will this show work with the group's personality? How do I get rights and other materials? One elegant solution that also deepens connections to the final product is creating an original piece- perhaps one that the kids even write themselves. While this sounds daunting, it is often the most rewarding process for everyone involved, it will allow you to tailor a show to the group you have, and it avoids all the messy situations with royalties.
A common and successful theme for original works is the Twisted Fairytales format. In a relatively short amount of time, students can create and augment characters and situations that fall in a common frame of reference. This format works well for the devising of a piece as well as presenting the final product because the audience will have at least a global understanding of the characters and setting.
Recently, children grades 2-4 at Camp Jacobson had the opportunity to participate in the mainstages Theater Club led by Theater Director Marco Agnolucci. The club was based on the Twisted Fairytales format, and it utilized a mainstages original script entitled Arielle's Quest for the Lamp of Oz. The theater club used their imagination to "twist" and combine the elements from The Littler Mermaid, Wizard of Oz, and Aladdin in the show. The final summary of the show was:
Arielle and her mermaid friends dream of having legs instead of fins. Their dreams seem impossible until Flounder tells them about a mysterious Genie in the wonderful land of Oz who is capable of granting wishes. Bravely, Arielle journeys through the yellow coral reef to Oz, where she encounters interesting characters along with way. Will Arielle make it to the Genie and achieve her dreams?
The group at Camp Jacobson did a wonderful job with their final show! Here are five steps you can use to create your own Twisted Fairytale script:
Once you have the show written out, you can start to revise with the group and get on your way rehearsing! Pepper in songs from any of the shows and you have something your entire community will enjoy.
You can learn more about bringing mainstages creativity like this to your camp, school, or organization here with our spotlight programming!