A Lesson in the Jungle isn’t the only manuscript that we have to offer. Back in 2002, I wrote a new manuscript called “William Gray & the Family Next Door”, the tale of a family of brown, field mice, who seek shelter in an old church, after being frightened from the fields by a mean, old cat named, Max. Family Brown meets family Gray, who are church mice. It is a play about bullying, an issue that more than most, needs to be brought to attention. It’s a theme manuscript, just like A Lesson in the Jungle. Written by myself and brought to musical life by Martin Lignell, this is the second manuscript of many to come. Martin and I both believe that our shows all need to touch certain issues, issues such as anti-bullying, anti-racism, anti-hate and anti-environmental destruction.
During the summer of 2010, both A Lesson in the Jungle and William Gray & the Family Next Door were performed at the Litchfield Public Library. Unfortunately, I was unable to be there, although I saw it through Skype. It was truly magnificent to see the smiles on the children, who came along to watch and to be a part of it. I had tears in my eyes. I spoke with many of those children afterwards and the things they said; will live with me forever. Nothing from 2010 could beat 2011 though. I actually arrived to Litchfield and I got to read both stories, live. It was an absolutely amazing feeling!
This summer, I arrive again to Litchfield and William Gray & Family Next Door arrives to Litchfield as well, on stage! I will teach drama exercises, foundations of working together and communication. Participants will learn the story, listen to the musical lyrics and then bring the story to life through acting it out! Participants will perform, William Gary and the Family Next Door at 4 PM on stage at the Litchfield Little Theater on Thursday July 26. I hope to see you in the audience! Sign your children up to be participants at the Litchfield Community Education Office 114 Holcombe Ave. N., Suite 110 or call them at (320) 693-2354 to get on the reservation list!
The children of today need more than books and words; they need more than pats on the back and clean teeth before bed. The children of today need challenges and the opportunity to better themselves, by themselves. The days of scratchy chalk on blackboards and workbenches, permanently set to one position, are over. This is a new era, a new age. Such manuscripts as, A Lesson the Jungle and William Gray and the Family Next Door offer today’s children the chance to discover their own potentials. Learning must be fun or it becomes a mere chore. It must be innovating, uplifting, interesting and enjoyable. I know that I will continue to teach my son how to grow up into a fine and upstanding, young man. I know that I will always be here for him, to help him achieve his goals in life. I will strive to see that his learning years will be full of educational excitement, that he will never grow bored of learning. I am a parent, we are parents; and we have a duty to our children to see that they leave our nest ready to touch the sky.