Sandy Asher just shared her discovery that SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK was produced last year in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here’s an excerpt from the article.
“Victor J. Andrew High School Presents: Somebody Catch My Homework!
Theatre students of Victor J. Andrew High School will be putting on a fun, high energy production on Thursday, July 27th that they will also be presenting just a few days later at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland! The show is titled “Somebody Catch My Homework” and follows the everyday lives of fourth graders. Unlike a traditional musical, where the actors would break into song, in this production, they will break into poetry. Alex Craig, a student involved in the production said “We were looking to do something a little different for our show”. This family friendly, children’s show will be the only one they do before they bring it to Scotland.”
Sandy’s play, published by Dramatic Publishing, was first performed in Springfield, Missouri in 2002. She chose characters and poems from my work to pull together a class of 4th graders. I don’t know how many times the play has been produced now, but it has been several. This isn’t the first time it has appeared in another country.
Sandy, thanks for finding this and sharing it. Yay for SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK!
BULLETIN: More poems from the students at Sanibel School. Check them out!
I’m pleased to report that the award-winning play Sandy Asher wrote based on our script, JESSE AND GRACE, is being performed today, tomorrow, and Saturday at Carpenter Middle School in Plano, Texas. The book version is being read by a couple of editors so we hope to see it published as a book one of these days. In the meantime our pair of fourth graders are doing just fine on school stages and we’re proud of them.
For anyone interested in bringing the play to his or her school, here’s a helpful link. https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/p2240/Jesse-and-Grace:-A-Best-Friends-Story/product_info.html
We also collaborated for the school play, SOMEBODY CATCH MY HOMEWORK, which Sandy wrote based on my poetry from several books. It, too, is available through Dramatic Publishing.
Got a lot done yesterday. I needed the day to focus.
In the meantime I heard the good news from Sandy Asher that her play based on our script, JESSE AND GRACE: A BEST FRIENDS STORY, will make its next staged appearance February 25-27 at Carpenter Middle School in Plano, Texas.
Here’s how our publisher, Dramatic Publishing, describes the play. If you know of a school or other suitable venue where there might be an interest in producing the play, I hope you’ll pass along this information.
“A best friend is the best kind of friend of all.”
Winner of the AATE Unpublished Play Award
AATE Distinguished Play Award Winner
By Sandra Fenichel Asher. Developed from the poetry of Sandy Asher and David L. Harrison.
Cast: 1m., 1w., 2 either gender, plus puppets; may be expanded to a total of 21 m. and w. without puppets. Commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company, Austin, Texas; a winner of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Unpublished Play Award; and a Purple Crayon Players’ PLAYground Festival selection, Jesse and Grace uses art, music, puppets and poetry in unique ways to create a child’s world that’s entertaining, convincing and tourable. Jesse and Grace have been best friends since birth, almost 10 years. Their moms were best friends before they were born. It never mattered that Jesse is a boy and Grace is a girl. They always understood each other, protected each other, comforted each other, and shared their jokes, toys, dreams, and love of poetry and basketball. But now they’re in fourth grade and about to celebrate their 10th birthdays. When Grace writes a birthday poem and gives it to Jesse one Monday morning at school, their classmates begin a routine of nonstop teasing: “Jesse’s got a girlfriend! Gracie’s got a boyfriend!” Denial only makes things worse. Hurt and confused, Jesse crumples up the poem and throws it away. Now it’s Grace’s turn to be hurt and confused. Before long, the two have stopped speaking to each other. Each goes in search of a new best friend and soon finds that no one else fills the bill quite as perfectly. Try as they might to avoid each other, they’re in the same class, and all eyes are upon them. Every encounter breeds more teasing, humiliation and anger. Then everyone is invited to a skating party in celebration of Grace’s birthday. Unable to avoid each other—or the teasing—at the rink, and secretly longing to forgive and forget, Jesse and Grace finally discover that “A best friend is the best kind of friend of all.” Pollyanna Theatre Company’s Jesse and Grace was nominated for B. Iden Payne awards for Best Youth Theatre Production and Best Actress in a Youth Theatre Production. Area staging. Approximate Running Time: 45 minutes.
BULLETIN: For anyone planning to attend my convocation talk in Stone Chapel this morning at 11:00, this just in from Drury: “We encourage you to use the parking lot that is most convenient for you during your visit back to campus. All parking lots will be available for alumni parking during Reunion weekend.” This applies to the general public as well.
Here’s some impressive news from Sandy Asher. I’m delighted to pass this along. Writing plays is a very different proposition than other forms of writing. With picture books, you have an artist for a partner who does much of the visualizing. In most writing, you may occasionally employ dialog but in plays it’s all about dialog and how adept you are at “hearing” not only how people sound but how they react to one another. You imagine each scene, place your characters like pieces in a chess set or a doll house, then bring them all to life on a public stage where so many, many things can (and frequently do) go wrong.
Sandy has published dozens of plays for children and is frequently awarded recognition at the highest level, but she also writes for adults and WALKING TOWARD AMERICA, her play about Ilga Vise, which I just saw in New York, is a stunning example of what a wonderful actor (Annie Meek Montgomery) playing multiple roles, can do when the playwright provides the right words, vision, and grasp of the drama inherent in the story.
So here’s what Sandy just told friends, and I want to share it here.
“Walking Toward America” is the only show in the history of the United Solo Festival to sell out 5 performances and actually schedule a 6th show: this Saturday, October 10 at 4 p.m. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that we weren’t given much time to let folks know about it.
But the good news is that there are still plenty of tickets available. Or maybe that’s bad news? Anyway, if you were thinking of attending, please order your tickets now! And if you’ve already attended and enjoyed the show, please tell others. ALL attempts to help spread the word will be deeply appreciated. Full details on the show, the festival, and tickets at http://walkingtowardamerica.wordpress.com.
Please pass it on!
Congratulations, Sandy. Way to go!