In July, when I agreed to teach our fall after-school musical theater class, I wasn’t thinking about Halloween. I don’t think anyone was, except maybe Kohl’s and Home Depot, but Auburn Public Theater wanted to host a kid’s Halloween show and ideas had to start flowing.
Angela, Kristan Sheppard, and I came together in a meeting to brainstorm a solid theme for a Halloween theater class and performance – something toddler-friendly, family friendly, and funny for adults. We talked and ended up liking the idea of a musical, taking place in a spooky house. I scoured the internet for some kind of script with songs and quirky dialogue, and nothing was jumping out at me. So I decided to write the entire script, using the kids who will be participating as the inspiration.
I hadn’t met any of these kids beforehand, so I wrote a gender-friendly script, for the 12 kids we had signed up. Soon, word got around that Auburn Public Theater was offering a musical theater class and a few more kids signed up. Then a couple more. We ended up with 20 kids in our show, and what a great bunch they are. Kristan, who is a music teacher at Genesee Elementary in Auburn, vocal coach, and amazing piano player, found fun songs and prepared music, while I created a script. There are a lot of details when preparing a script for children of different grades – reading level, attention span, interest, etc. We didn’t look at these as a challenge though; instead we casted and wrote each part with the child in mind.
The class began mid-September, which meant only seven weeks until showtime. Once there was a script ready for kids to read, learn, and memorize, we utilized each week to develop projection, singing, harmonizing, staging, choreography, and character development. The cast worked hard and it amazes me how much we were able to accomplish in just under two months. Kristan and I are so proud of everyone for giving their best and we can’t wait to showcase our creation.
The play takes place in a house. Not just any house, it is the home of the Sock Puppets, and they are throwing a Halloween party. Guests continue to arrive all night: a trio of witches, a confused penguin, talking pumpkins, and several more invitees – and some unexpected party crashers. The more the merrier at this Halloween party, so take a seat and watch our Halloween Spooktacular come to life!