To read full script, click here.
To download script, click here. (Best format for reading and printing.)
(Photos from all productions below.)
To read quotes from the shows directors and a review, click here.The fourth production of "The Magic Book" was March 2008 in Carthage, Missouri. Click here for a newspaper story and photos of the show: http://www.carthagepress.com/news/x1438204403 It was first produced April/May of 1997 in Sacramento at the Voice Fitness Institute. It was produced again in May of 1999 by the Bay Street Players in Eustis Florida (near Orlando.) The third production was December 2000 by the Valley Players in Warren Vermont.
THE STORY: Tina and Randy, twin brother and sister (who are about 12 years old) are banished to the book lined attic of their great grandmother's house because all they wanted to do was argue and watch TV. Reluctantly they begin to read old classics and find out they actually have imaginations. It turns out with reading you can put yourself in the story.
One night the kids fall asleep in the attic. They wake up to find the room has transformed into "The Magic Library" where characters from classic literature enter and exit from books six feet tall.
Above is the cast from the Sacramento production in 1997 (most of those kids are grown up now!) Below is the Carthage, Missouri production in 2008.
The twins now assume they are probably dreaming, but they may have stumbled upon a gateway into the world of literature that was invented by their late greatgrandfather. However, they've picked a bad time to visit!
Long John Silver and his pirates have formed an alliance with other evil characters. They have kidnapped the Head Librarian and stolen her "Magic Book." Because classic characters are in the public domain without copyright protection, it is the Head Librarian's job to regulate things. With the pirates in control, they are able to loot books and alter the storylines.
It is Long John Silver's plan to eventually gain enough power to enter the real world. It is up to Tina and Randy to save the world of literature!
The set is a series of door skin panels that are painted with regular sized books on one side. The panels quickly pop off using velcro. Underneath are other panels on hinges that have giant colorful book covers painted on them.
The flip-sides of the removable panels are painted with book spines or covers that then velcro to the attic walls making the set transform into a giant library.
I've built the set three times now and it works surprising well. For the Florida and Vermont shows I flew out during rehersals and enjoyed running set-painting and building workshops. With the cast helping the set can be changed in only a minute. However, the sets do not need to be fancy with opening and closing books for the show to work. The familiar costumes really set the mood.
This "chaos in literatureville" means anything goes as far as costumes and characters running in and out of books. For both productions all the kids and adults were involved in the creative process and everybody had a blast.
I originally wrote the story as a straight play needing only nine actors, (five kids, four adults.) We ended up with 21 kids, four adults and four mini song and dance numbers.
The play could work with just nine actors or it could become an all-out musical with over 50 wild kids.I produced and co-directed the first production and built/painted the sets. The Sacramento production used three adults and 21 kids. (I cast my own mother in the adult lead, she did a great job.) The Orlando Florida area production was an all-kid cast of 21. The Warren Vermont production used 34 kids. The Carthage, Missouri show used 29 kids. The Vermont show has its own webpage click here to view. http://www.valleyplayers.com/magic.htm#Paul%20Stewart
For the Florida and Vermont production I worked with the directors and made several changes in the script to customize the show for them.Below are before and after set change photos and another group shot from the Sacramento production.