September 30th, 2010

Make Believe

My Director's Notes

Usually when I am deciding on a show to direct for ATY I gravitate towards adaptations of books I remember reading as a child. I have found there is no better way to judge a youth theatre script than seeing if it takes me back to the days of reading under the covers with a flashlight because I could not wait until morning to find out how the story ended.

I have a confession to make, my Best Beloveds: I don't remember ever having read The Just So Stories.

I remember having some of the stories read aloud for story time several years in a row when I was in Elementary school. I know I had The Just So Stories, or at least The Elephant's Child, on record (kids, ask your parents) because I clearly remember running through the house chanting "Great grey-green greasy Limpopo River!" for an entire summer. I'm sure it seemed like a full year to my mother.

That is what pulled me into this adaption of The Just So Stories. As an adult with a liberal arts degree I recognize the literary importance of Kipling's work, but I prefer the image of Rudyard and his family acting out The Just So Stories in their parlor. I like to imagine Elsie, little John and Josephine marching through the house chanting "Great grey-green greasy Limpopo River!" after hearing The Elephant's Child. I hope you will too.