Ruthie Rado and Pocket Change Theatre Company shares their recipe for Fringe success.
Recipe by Pocket Change Theatre Company . Serves hundreds
1 cup of imagination
A sprig of style
8 amazing actors
1 original score
3 sentient vegetables of your choice
25 handmade puppets, sewn with love
2 TBSP of funky fresh dance moves
A dash of Instagram
Start by swirling one cup of imagination around a trusted group of collaborators. If you know that Children’s Theatre can be more than just Fairy Tales, this step is essential. Why can’t Theatre for Young Audiences push the boundaries of style and story? Let’s make kids’ everyday lives extraordinary! Sprinkle in a few baby carrots, and War and Peas should begin to bubble.
Next, add style to the pot. To create something purely theatrical, steer clear of realism. We chose a wordless style that takes its cues from clowning, dance, commedia dell’arte, silent movies, and cartoons. This style has the delicious bonus of not relying on language, making this recipe fit for hard-of-hearing and English-as-a-second-language audiences.
Next, gather your actors. Having a wide variety of strengths in your cast is essential. You’ll want to gather dancers, comedians, improvisers, bi- and trilingual superstars, experienced and novice puppeteers, and a few wild cards. This varied mix will add depth and richness to War and Peas. New flavors you didn’t anticipate will spice up the recipe, and the complex notes will surprise and delight the theatrical palette.
Stir in original music. This will enhance the storytelling of your recipe, and is responsible for that irresistible groovyness you detect. We got our music right from the source, Vincent Rado. Vincent is an accomplished musician who stepped outside his comfort zone to craft an amazing Theatre for Young Audiences score. You can find our score here: https://soundcloud.com/pocket-change-theatre-co/war-peas.
Next, you’ll want to get started on staging the play. This will require a heroic central character. Better yet, use three heroic central characters. Assign actors roles in accordance to their personalities and strengths. For example, if a trained flamenco dancer named Rocio Medina walks into your auditions and tells you her spirit vegetable is a pepper, cast her as a flamenco-dancing pepper! If Collin Riley shows up, ready to bounce around, equip him with an umbrella hat and let him be a mushroom. And if Keenan Gibson’s Eggplant character turns out to be a little dorky, by golly, get Keenan a propeller hat! These vegetables will be the base flavors of War and Peas.
You’ll also want to sprinkle in other characters in the form of puppets. We recommend using the following handmade puppets: Peas, carrot, tomato, corn, sour lemon, saucy strawberry, prickly pineapple, watermelon, silverware, enormous dog, tiny dog, zombie trash bags, garlic, a fast car, the moon, apathetic clouds, and a stinky wedge of cheese. You cannot have fantastic puppets without fantastic puppeteers, so be sure you cast 5 amazing actors to bring these characters to life.
Be sure to add your two tablespoons of funky-fresh dance moves little-by-little. Don’t let a rehearsal go by without learning a new breakdancing move.
Add a dash of instagram. A dash of any social media will do. Here’s what we use:
Congratulations! If you’ve followed the recipe, you have successfully created War and Peas! The show is now ready to go to Capital Fringe 2015! Other serving suggestions: local elementary schools, preschools, and nursing homes. Everyone will love this healthy and delicious show!
July 9 — Aug 2, 2015
War and Peas is at Logan Fringe Arts Space
starting July 10
Capital Fringe 2015
1358-60 Florida Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002
and other locations
Fringe details and Tickets
Ruthie Rado is a DC-area actor, photographer, graphic designer, and children’s entertainer. She is also Artistic Director of Pocket Change Theatre Company.
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