Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Aesop's Hop - My First Published Play

After Josh and I directed our smash success (by children's theater standards), a few changes happened in my life.

The biggest change: I got married.

The other big change: I moved from Orange County to Los Angeles.

At first, I thought that I wouldn't be directing another show for the Yorba Linda Civic Light Opera.  But, during the year, I kept coming up with some new song idea.  And I kept thinking about the various flaws during the last show.  I wanted to create something that was really tight, structurally. 

And really fun.

And for some reason, I kept thinking of Aesop's Fables -- little stories I had heard throughout my childhood, tales with a clear moral at the end.  And, as I thought about the fables of Aesop, I also recalled a story about a dog, a cat, a rooster, and a donkey -- "The Musicians of Bremen."  So, I combined all of the material and created "Aesop's Hop." (Here are some photos from a college production... Great costumes, don't you think?)

I felt truly proud of the show.  About three or four times a week I drove out from LA to Yorba Linda.  But you know what, I didn't mind.  The rehearsal process was the smoothest experience I've ever had as a director.  The kids were terrific, as usual -- but there was something really harmonious about the songs, something that we didn't quite have in previous shows.  Katie Luekens did the music, and I think it was her finest work of all our children's shows. 

So we did the show, a couple years passed, and for some reason -- I can't quite remember how or why now -- I submitted it to a publishing company: Eldridge Plays. 

I had sent them plays before and they had kindly said, Thanks but no thanks.  They also said to keep trying.  Well, they loved "Aesop's Hop."  They weren't looking for a youth musical -- but they thought the script was great.  So it was published as a non-musical.  In fact, this was the very first play to be published.  I was absolutely thrilled.  (I did have irrational visions of it going to Broadway -- ah youthful expectations.)

Strangely, even though it was the first of my plays to be published, it was one of the last of my directorial projects.  Still, I look back on the show and the writing experience with utmost fondness.  It opened a door into the world of publishing -- and I'm forever grateful to Eldridge Plays for taking on the project!

Learn more about how to bring Aesop's Hop to life at your school and/or theater!

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