My first children’s theater was performed back in 1995 or possibly 1996. I wanted the children to learn English in a whole new way. I didn’t want them to sit behind desks with pens and worksheets, didn’t want them to go home after school with piles of grammar and the same sense of failure that I once went home with. I wanted them to learn the language in a fun and exhilarating way. I wanted them to discover their own potentials and talents without the guidelines that the teaching body invariably place upon students.
I now have a good, seven or eight theater manuscripts, although only five of them have been performed and just A Lesson in the Jungle and William Gray & the Family Next Door have been many times. Summer 2012 has brought William Gray & the Family Next Door from Europe and to the United States of America. Fifteen American children, ranging from 3rd to 7th grades are, as I write (hopefully), busy reading and learning their lines. They have had their first four and a half hours within the world of William Gray & the Family Next Door. They have gone through the manuscript, listened and danced to the songs, performed the play and have done wonderful jobs. They have just four and a half hours left until they will perform in front of an audience, just four and a half hours until they launch William Gray & the Family Next Door into the audience at the Little Theater at Litchfield High School on Thursday July 26th at 4pm.
Gavin directing his play William Gray & the Family Next Door with cast rehearsals
What they are about to do is to be done in record time, just one and a half hours a day for six days. The groups of children I had back in Europe were given many more hours to set up such a play. We are talking lines, songs, dance; light, sound…these children are amazing. At 4pm on Thursday 26th July they will be showing friends and family just what they can do. I am already amazed and if you come along to the Little Theater at Litchfield High School, you too will be amazed.
This isn’t to be a professional, high cost production with all the latest mod-cons. This is to be an anti-bullying, anti-racism, theme theater that fifteen children have worked so hard for. What they are about to do is more than amazing, it’s absolutely fantastic. They have struggled and are so close now to reaching their goal…of performing William Gray & the Family Next Door just for you.
Hope to see you there
Have a great day