A while back I was approached to write a play for the youth theatre camp.
“Sure,” I thought. I used to write plays as a kid. I love writing dialogue. Let’s take a stab at it. How hard can it be?
Yeah, famous last words. Plays and picture books are a bit different. A bit? a BIT? OK, a lot.
Oh, another thing, it needed to be able to cast up to 100 kids! What? 100 kids?! At first I thought, I need tons of extras… let’s see, I can have 10 – 20 squirrels. But then I remembered when I was in plays and felt like I was always an extra. There are up to 73 speaking roles. Some can be combined if needed. And of course, there are the non-speaking roles for younger kids who just want stage time.
Amazingly though, I did it! And the kids and director are having a blast with it.
The play is a cross between “Night at the Museum” and the TV show “Once Upon a Time.” I do have plans to turn it into a middle grade. It’s very silly. The characters were a ton of fun to work with, and it was a great exercise in character development through dialogue.
Here is a sneak peek:
After the library closes, the mice statues wake up and are ready to start the night.
MOUSE 1: Is she gone?
MOUSE 2: I think so!
MOUSE 3: Storytime!!!
PROFESSOR ME-OW: Excuse me. I’m in charge, and I say no storytime for you.
MOUSE 1: But we ARE in a library.
MOUSE 2: When you are in a library, you have to read.
MOUSE 3: It’s true. It’s an official rule.
PROFESSOR ME-OW: Well, fine. But please put the books back when you are done
MOUSE 1: Of course.
PROFESSOR ME-OW: And don’t forget to close them!
MOUSE 3: Loosen up cat. We know the drill.
MOUSE 1 & 2: Storytime! Storytime!
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The play is scheduled to be performed June 12, 13 and 14th at the Sioux City Community Theatre.