This interview got me thinking back to how I came to write the little musical based on the Aesop fable "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" also based on an ancient Greek story with ancient Greek characters and setting. In those days, I was frustrated trying to find a suitable vehicle for our youngest actors. We wanted a play with music that told a good story with meaningful parts for all of our little actors.
Because we had very young actors, mostly ages 5-7, we needed very simple lines and short catchy songs and movement that made sense to little people. We wanted them to each feel that they could contribute to telling the story through their lines and their singing and their dancing. We did not want a play that relied on explaining things to the audience through a narrator, choral readers, or adult "helpers." And we especially did not want an over-produced accompaniment track that over-powered the little voices.
The interaction between the Contrary Boy and the darling little lambs was fun to watch. Actually, the little lambs wagging their tails during their dance "Little Lambs Pastorale" had the audience rolling in the aisles with giggles. I had parents and guests comment that their favorite part of the show was seeing those adorable little lambs dance and wag their tails at the audience. And then when the youngest boy in the cast comes out as the Wolf and chases the little lambs around and off the stage... well, let's just say that the poor Contrary Boy had a difficult job to act anguished that he had just seen them go off to their demise.
Simple lines. Catchy songs. Good message. These are all very important ingredients to a young Children's Theater success. And, you should never underestimate the power of the "cute" factor.