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.
You’ve heard me talk about Sandy Asher’s play, JESSE AND GRACE — A BEST FRIENDS STORY. It’s based on our story in verse about two fourth graders who have grown up close but have a serious falling out that threatens their lifelong bond. In the making, Sandy and I took turns writing responses as the plot developed. We worked from a general outline without knowing precisely what the other would say and it turned out well.
The manuscript is still out for review with book editors but meanwhile the play continues to flourish. Sandy just wrote a second version of it that features two actors plus puppets and submitted it to NYU’s New Plays for Young Audiences workshop at the Provincetown Playhouse. It didn’t make it into the top 3 out of the record 97 scripts submitted, but it was a finalist and ranked #6. Way to go, Sandy! We’ll see Jesse and Grace as a book yet!
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Winner of the AATE Unpublished Play Award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.