Pearls so rare!
A family has been reunited,
That's cause for joy.
We are so excited!
We'd be delighted
If you decided to stay___
On this happy day!
On this happy day!
These are the words to the chorus of the Finale song of my latest Children's Musical "Parizade's Quest, a Tale from the Arabian Nights." The special message of this story is about the importance of FAMILY. As always, writing the show is a mind game, but putting it into production is an adventure!
As a writer, you think and think and plan and plan and try to envision all the parts and pieces of the finished production. You design everything from the sets, to the dances, to the costumes, to how the characters talk and move. But then reality sets in. The biggest culprits are limitations of budget and time and of course the actual abilities of your very young actors. How wonderful to have some validation in getting a lot "right" about what you can actually manage to accomplish. But it is sobering to realize what simply will not fly.
So, you pare down, regroup, re-imagine, and go on!
The happy thing is that the kids seem to like the songs, the story, and the idea of the costumes that they haven't actually seen yet. Now to get them to memorize their lines, learn their choreography, master the singing of the songs, and accomplish some real acting to tell the story. The first few weeks are so rough. Nobody really has a handle on what to expect. They don't know each other. They don't know their characters. They have so much work to do. And as the creator and director of a brand new theatrical piece, I just don't have enough words or time to explain what is inside my head.
The good thing is that they have no pre-conceived notions about the story or their characters.
The bad things is that they have no pre-conceived notions about the story or any reference points for understanding the characters, setting or interpretation of the story.
How come they can't just do what I see them do during my dreams at night?
These are kids, after all. Ten, eleven and twelve year olds. There are just a handful who have had any experience doing a play or dancing or singing in shows. Fortunately, those kids can be the lead characters and demonstrate to the others how to conduct themselves. Now if I could just split myself into three or four extra people, we would have time enough to work with all the children on a more individual level. Don't have that kind of luxury, though. We will just go on the best we can. Perhaps, I will think of creative ways to "steal" extra time in some other ways.
After all, what is the first law of the theater? The Show Must Go On!