418 West Short Street Lexington, KY 40507 859.254.4546 FAX.254.9512 www.lctonstage.org Dear Educator, 2009-10 Season Play Guide The Little Imagine. Explore. Create. These words drive everything we do at Lexington Children’s Theatre. We are excited about our 71st year of producing plays for young people and their families. As an organization that values the arts and education, we have created this resource for teachers called the Play Guide. Mermaid 2:00 PM Our Play Guides are designed December 13, 19 and 20, 2009 to be a valuable tool for teachers in 7:00 PM two ways: it helps you prepare your students for the enriching performance December 19, 2009 LCT provides, as well as it serves 10:00 and 11:45 AM as an educational tool for extending December 8-11 and 14-17, 2009 ! all 2009 the production experience into your classroom. We designed each activity On TOur F to assist in achieving the Kentucky Core Content (KCC) standards and Our MissiOn tO schOOls, teachers and students The mission of Lexington Children’s Theatre Education to integrate the arts with your core Department is to provide students of all ages with the curricular subjects. means to actively explore the beauty, diversity, complexity Teachers are important voices at and challenges of the world around them through the LCT and we rely heavily on your input. dramatic process. We strive for young people to develop If you have comments or suggestions their own creative voice, their imagination, and their about our Play Guides, show selections understanding of drama and its role in society. or any of our programming, your thoughts are greatly appreciated. Please read and complete the Teacher Free Teacher Previews Want to be more fully prepared to share Response form that you will receive the theatrical experience with your students? LCT following the performance. offers teachers the opportunity to preview many of We are thrilled that you rely on our Main Stage productions. LCT to provide your students with a Each Preview lasts about two hours and quality theatrical experience and we include a free performance of the play. Don’t miss hope this resource aids you in extending this chance to bring some drama into your classroom! our production into your classroom. Call Jeremy (859-254-4546 x226) to reserve your spot today! Play Synopsis Flotsam and Jetsam (words for ocean debris) are here to tell you the story of The Little Mermaid. The Sea King has six beautiful daughters, all of whom are mermaids; the most beautiful of all is the youngest known as the Little Mermaid. She is fascinated with humans and their world that lies above the ocean. You see, she has a statue of a handsome boy in her garden and has always dreamed of life above the water. However, she is not allowed to visit the surface until her fifteenth birthday, so she must wait. All of her sisters take their turn above the surface and share the marvelous wonders they see, which only makes the Little Mermaid more impatient. On the day of her fifteenth birthday, she eagerly swims to the surface and sees a young prince celebrating his birthday. The Little Mermaid is instantly smitten and when the Prince falls victim to a storm, she saves his life and returns him safely home. Just as the Prince wakes up, their eyes meet, but the townspeople are too close and the Little Mermaid has to leave. From that moment on, she vows to return to her Prince. Her Grandmother tries to convince her to forget the Prince: “He can’t live under the sea,” “They live for a much shorter time,” but to no avail. The Little Mermaid is determined to reunite with her prince, so she visits the Sea Witch and trades her voice for legs. But the magic will only be permanent if the Prince loves the Mermaid above all others. She agrees and begins her quest to win the Prince’s affections. But without her voice, she cannot fully express her love and one day, the Prince announces he is to marry another. The Mermaid realizes her quest is over, but her sisters bargain for her life with the Sea Witch. They are given a knife. If the Little Mermaid can kill the Prince she will allowed to live. It is a request she cannot complete. She sacrifices herself for the one she love and returns to the sea as foam. Your Role in Our Play You may wish to have a discussion with your class about your upcoming LCT experience and their role as audience members. Remind your students that theatre can only exist with an audience. Your students’ energy and responses directly affect the actors onstage. The quality of the performance depends as much on the audience as it does on each of the theatre professionals behind the scenes and onstage. Young audiences should know that watching live theatre is not like watching more familiar forms of entertainment: they cannot pause or rewind us like a videotape, there are no commercials for bathroom breaks, nor can they turn up the volume to hear us if someone else is talking. Your students are encouraged to listen and watch the play intently, so that they may laugh and cheer for their favorite characters when it is appropriate. At the end of the play, applause is an opportunity for your students to thank the actors, while the actors are thanking you for the role you played as an audience. Prepare for the Play Narrative Pantomime Read the following narrative to your class and have the students “act out” the story as you read it. As you read the narrative, please make sure you allow the students plenty of time to complete the actions. After the pantomime have the students talk about the various sea creatures and fish that they envisioned in their story. Extend this activity by displaying books or posters of the many types of sea creatures that live in the ocean. Close your eyes and imagine that you are under the ocean’s surface. You can breathe as easily as if the water were air. Feel your self float. Your arms and legs are no longer heavy and you can move about quite easily. You look up and see the sun above the surface, but that world is no match for your life underwater. Look around and see the many fish that swim about. Oh look! There’s your best friend! Decide what type of sea creature he or she is, wave and say “Hi.” Now look down at the ocean floor and see all the wonderful creatures that live on the ocean bed. How many different types of creatures do you see? What colors are they? Where do they like to rest or hide? Are any of them dangerous? You hear a someone calling. You realize it is time to go. You go to run, but then you realize you’re a mermaid or a merman and you do not run, but swim! And boy, are you a fast swimmer! Swimming is fun and much easier than running! You dart left and then right. You swim upside down and twirl in the water. It is glorious being a merperson! You hear your name and stop. You open your eyes and realize it has all been a dream and once again you’re human. Create your own Mythical Sea Creature Often, mythological creatures are created through combinations of humans and animals. We consider some creatures friendly, like mermaids. Or sometimes these creatures are terrifying monsters, like sirens. Use this activity to have your students carry on this folk traditions in your classroom! 1. Assemble two index cards per student in your class. 2. On half of the cards, write down one part of the human body (like head, arms, legs, ears, etc. You may repeat.) . 3. On the other half, write down one common sea animal (like shark, dolphin, lobster, etc. You may repeat.) . 4. Have all students draw one card from each set. 5. Now have the students create and draw a new sea monster based on their cards. The new creature should integrate their given human body part and sea animal. Encourage your students to imagine a fantastical creature. but use the cards only as a means to get them started. Is their creature good or evil? What special powers might their creature have? In which ocean, lake or climate would that creature live? What is the creature’s name? You can expand this activity by having the students move and create sounds like their sea creature. Sea Creature Craze How well do you know your imaginary sea creatures? If all of these creature existed, imagine how wonderful (or even scary) our oceans would be! Match each creature’s name to its picture. The first one is done for you. Mermaid Creature with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish Siren A sea nymph, part woman and part bird, who lure mariners to doom by their seductive singing. Kraken A sea monster shaped like a squid. It causes large whirlpools and was greatly feared by sailors. Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) Nessie is a large aquatic serpent or a dinosaur seen in the waters of Loch Ness, Scotland. Nereid A daughter of the sea god. The Nereids were as young girls who inhabited any water, salt or fresh. Kelpie or Water horse A shape-shifting water spirit with backward hooves and could change between horse and water. Selkies Seal who are able to transform to human form by shedding their seal skins, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. Hans Christian Andersen H ans Christian Andersen was Danish. He was born in Odense, Denmark, almost 2 centuries ago on April 2, 1805. In fact, the year 2005 marked his 200th birthday! His father was a shoemaker, and his mother was a washerwoman for rich people in large homes. In his stories you will find many themes of the differences between the poor and wealthy classes. You will also find the occasional shoemaker. Even as a child he always loved the arts, and he left home at age 14 to make his fortune. He was an artist, and a singer, and an actor, but he was not a success at first. He grew even poorer and almost died of hunger. He received some money and could afford to continue his education thanks to the help of a patron of the arts, the director of the Royal Theatre. He went to university in the capital city of Copenhagen and began his writing. Andersen was first known as a poet, and his poetry won him many patrons and paid his way to travel throughout Europe. His first book of fairy tales was published in 1835. The book was a success, and he followed it with many other volumes of children’s stories, almost one a year, right up until 1872! Because of his wonderful fairy tales, Andersen became known as the greatest writer in Denmark, and one of the most beloved children’s authors in the world. In his lifetime, he wrote more than one hundred and fifty fairy tales, and his stories have been translated into over 100 languages! One of the highest prizes in children’s literature is the Hans Christian Andersen Award, presented to only one author and one illustrator every two years. It is presided over by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Hans Christian Andersen was tall and skinny with a big nose; he always thought that he was very ugly. His stories show compassion for those who are outcast and suffering. They also make fun of the spoiled and conceited. His stories teach us that appearances can be deceiving, and that there is a magical beauty even within the most unlikely characters. What Happened? Even though we may not have seen all of the action, we know a LOT happened in the play The Little Mermaid. Following your teacher’s instruction, draw a scene from the play. This can be either a scene your teacher gives you, or just your most favorite event from the show. Name :______________________________ Extending the Show What Happened? Copy the What Happened? page for all the students in your class. You may use the worksheet in one of two ways. First, have your students simply draw their favorite moment or scene from The Little Mermaid. This can be as simple as “My favorite moment was when the mermaid danced with the prince” to “My favorite scene was when she sold her voice to the sea witch”. Secondly, you may choose to have the students work in teams to draw a specific scene from the play which you assign. When finished you can have the students arrange their drawings in the proper sequence of events in the play. In both cases, you can create a “Castle of Scenes” using each student’s drawing as a brick in a castle. You can enhance the castle with a door, flags, moats, or whatever you can think to create! EXTEND IT FURTHER When students have finished their drawing, have them recreate the same scene using frozen pantomime, or tableau. Explain to the students that this is like taking a picture with a camera, that they are freezing a moment of live action. Count down from three and call “freeze”! Then have the other students in the class guess which scene is being presented. Was it difficult to just do that one scene? What must have it been like for the actor and actress in the play? Take the Ocean Pledge Right now, a mass of trash twice the size of Texas is floating in the Pacific Ocean. It has accumulated in an area known as the “North Pacific gyre” and it includes everything from tires to fishing nets, but the most common ingredient, by far, is plastic. The average American uses between 300 and 700 plastic bags every year. Those that end up in the ocean are often mistaken for food by hungry sea turtles. Plastics also absorb toxic chemicals, which can be dangerous to fish and other sea life that often swallow plastic pellets and other materials. Help reduce your mark on ocean pollution by limiting your plastic consumption. Pledge to take the steps below. Take a pledge not to pollute the oceans: I (state your name) pledge not to pollute the oceans by: 1. Using a reusable tote or other bag at the grocery store 2. Drinking water out of glass or other non-plastic container 3. Recycling plastics whenever possible 4. Never littering and always disposing of trash properly 5. Encouraging my friends and family to reduce their plastics consumption After you students have taken the pledge. Have them design a poster that help to prevent water and/or ocean pollution. Suggested Reading The Sea King’s Daughter: A Russian Legend by Aaron Shepard (Author), Gennady Spirin (Illustrator) A poor but gifted musician draws the attention of the King of the Sea, who invites him to visit his palace under the sea. The Sea Queen, however, whispers to Sadko that if he kisses or embraces his sea-wife, he will never be able to return home again. Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairytales by Hans Christian Andersen (Author), Lisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator) This anthology includes eleven favorite stories, such as “The Princess and the Pea” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” as well as lesser-known but equally wonderful stories, all featuring distinctively elegant illustrations. Dear Mermaid by Alan Durant (Author), Vanessa Cabban (Illustrator) On her first day of vacation, Holly finds a mermaid’s purse on the beach. She wants to give it back, but has a few questions for the mermaid first. The Book of Mermaids by Patricia Saxton This book draws from many cultures to create a fanciful picture book on merfolk arts, language and family life. Students will have a great time learning about mermaids’ mystical tools (pearls and blue stones) and weaving their own mermaid tales. The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen and Jerry Pinkney One day, he heard a sound of whirring wings, and up in the air he saw a flock of birds flying high. They were as bright as the snow that had fallen during the night, and their long necks were stretched southward. Oh, if only he could go with them! But what sort of companion could he be to those beautiful beings? LCT Comes to You! Let LCT’s professional artists bring their extensive experience into your classroom. An LCT residency program is designed to offer young people the opportunity to learn in a dynamic, fun and challenging way. LCT tailors a residency to the needs of your students, curriculum and budget. We offer residencies that range from a one time visit to a month long intensive program. • Performance Workshops - Two week intensive unit culminating in a performance. LCT provides all scripts, costumes, props and scenery. • Kentucky Core Content - Elements of Drama - This residency is a one time visit to assist students in preparation for the KCC testing. • Spotlight on Reading - Students will explore popular literature through drama, creative writing, art and movement. • Science and Art - Students can explore a variety of scientific concepts using drama. Experience the wonders of nature, animals, bugs, weather, plants, recycling, or the rain forest through the use of role-play, movement and pantomime. Call 254-4546 x233 or x226 TODAY!