Travel and sight-seeing is uppermost in many people's thoughts this time each year. I am at a point in my life when I have the time to travel any time of year, though I prefer Spring and Autumn travel the best. Yet, I haven't chosen to travel to exotic locations much in my life. (I mostly go visit family whenever I get the chance.) But, I confess, I still like the idea of world travels.
My experience of world travel seems to be through my research and imagination. Many shows that I have written needed exotic locations --- not only in place but also in time. Writers like me are lucky that we can draw on the experiences of so many historians, artists, journalists, photographers, and even musicologists to help us create the settings for our shows.
As I look back on writing Children's Theater Musicals, it seems like each was like traveling to a distant land. I had to immerse myself in the writing, art, archeology, climate, fashions, foods, and music of these locations in order to get inspiration. Some of my favorite settings have been ancient Greece, ancient Persia, Renaissance England, Paris anytime, and the American Old West. It is safe to say that I have physically visited NONE of these locations. But it was fun visiting them in my imagination.
As I have catalogued the songs from my shows, I found I have accumulated quite a list of travel-related songs.
"A View from the Highest Mountain" from "Never Cry Wolf"
"As the French Say" from "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse"
"Off to the Races" from "The Tale of Chicken Licken"
"Off to Seek My Fortune" from "The Adventures of Dick Whittington"
"Over the Briny Sea" from "The Adventures of Dick Whittington"
"Over Yonder" from "Stone Soup"
"I Love the City Life" from "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse"
"The Quest" from "Momotaro"
"Bremen Town Musicians" from "The Tale of the Musicians of Bremen"
"What Is It Like?" from "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse"
But one song really sums up the idea of transporting the audience to another place and time. The show is "Parizade's Quest - a Tale from the Arabian Nights." Jamileh, the apprentice storyteller, invites the audience into the story as she weaves her tale. The Opener "Come with Me" also introduces all of the characters of the show. Enjoy!
(So fun watching these kids try to subtly adjust their positions to make a better "stage picture." This was Opening Night. They got their Proximity, Planes, and Levels worked out better by the end of the run.)