Saturday, December 08, 2007

Script Ideas Needed!

I apologize for being off-topic, since the blog is supposed to be about teaching Shakespeare, but Jenna just hired me to direct Lenox Middle School's non-Shakespeare production in the Spring. Since I'll also be spending the Winter and Spring doing Shakespeare Residencies in middle schools and elementary schools as well as leading the Riotous Youth, I think it might be nice to have a brief Shakespeare break. Also, this show would be with the same kids I'm doing Macbeth with right now, and I adore them, so I'd love to work with them again.

Here are the guidelines:
There are 50 kids in Macbeth, and in the past they've have comparable or even more numbers for the Non-Shakespeare production. So I need a play with lots of parts, and opportunities for expansion.

The theater program is an offshoot of the English department, and the school principal is really adamant that the script be of obvious literary value. This is probably the most important factor--you can't underestimate the snob factor.

The school says "no musicals."

Since Macbeth does not offer a lot of opportunities for them to be silly, I'd like to do a comedy in the Spring.

Recent Titles include (and therefore are off the market) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.

I'll take any and all suggestions--and I'm totally willing and able to do an adaptation if you can think of appropriate public-domain source material. I've got a playwrighting background.

thanks in advance!


At 11:05 PM, Blogger chitarita said...

No brilliant ideas come to mind, although I've had success with "Get Smart", "Rapunzel Uncut" (smaller cast, though), and "The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood".

As far as adapting, you might consider "Arabian Nights" or "Canterbury Tales" (edited, of course).

You could also think about adapting poetry - you could do the writing with the students - have them find poems, or pre-select them along a theme, then flush them out with connecting character-actors.

Or have them develop a guide to surviving middle school - tales from the people who've been there, you know?

I'm just thinking on my feet, away from my school bookcase with my potential scripts pile. I'm always on the lookout for good, large-cast plays, so let me know what you find!

At 11:11 PM, Blogger Holbrook said...

Dramatic Publishing has a vast catalog of plays appropriate for middle schools. Many are based on literary classics, and many have flexible casts. Their "Don Quixote" and "The Odyssey" aren't bad, and I heard their The Hobbit is okay, too.

Meg, if you get a chance, shoot me an e-mail. I only have your old work e-mail address, so this blog is the only way I have to get in touch with you.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Meg O'C said...

Thanks for responding! That gives me a lot of directions to explore, Thank you both so much!

(Craig, I just responded to your email at length. Hurray for you!)


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