When I directed my first retelling of this story with a very young cast of 5-7 year olds, getting them to understand any amount of culture and history was a bit of a challenge. So we focused on aspects of the story they could understand more readily -- having parents who love their children and want them to become the best they can be, doing WORK and the different types of jobs people have, and the bad feelings you get when you do not tell the truth.
Some concepts were harder to explain, such as SINCERITY and RESPONSIBILITY. Very young children live only in the present and have a hard time understanding complex emotions and situations. Hopefully through the story they began to get an idea of how our actions and what we say can affect how we and others feel and what happens because of us.
The second retelling of this story became a more expanded version that I renamed "Never Cry Wolf." The idea was to create a show that could be learned in a two week Summer Intensive Theater Camp. The families at Church were all onboard to help and provide this opportunity for of our children. We depended on everybody to get involved in some way. I was overwhelmed by the talent that came out of the woodwork to volunteer time and effort.
We had moms who could sew and paint and dance and sing to teach the children. Some others volunteered to be Group Leaders who followed the 8-10 children in their age-range group through their day to keep them organized and cared for. They even helped them sponge paint their own T-shirt costumes and design their shields. We had a few mothers who organized Ancient Greek "cultural experiences" with spinning wool, weaving, building mosaics and making/tasting hummus. We even had Nursery and Recess helpers.
Some of the moms and dads helped build the stage, sets, and hang lighting, and some gave technical support and video taped the shows and took pictures. We had 75 kids ages 2-14 in the camp and almost as many parent helpers involved with the show. Believe me, this story took on new meaning for the parents -- they got it. This show was indeed about the values of SINCERITY and hard WORK! I only hope the children got it, as well!
Perhaps that is why I enjoy writing and directing Children's Theater. I so love seeing things through their new eyes.