In August, prepare for the arrival of A School Bus Named Desire. If you can’t guess what it’s based on, then how are you even able to read this post?
Here’s the concept: “A story reminiscent of the Tennessee Williams classic unfolds in a kindergarten classroom where imaginative play and the real goings-on blend to tell the tale of kindergarteners Blanche, Stella and Stanley. When Blanche arrives at Elysian Elementary School, Stella, Stanley and a host of other students in the class find themselves thrust into Blanche’s world of fragile distorted reality, which is soon brought to ruin by class bad boy, Stanley. Allusions to the original will keep industry folks and avid theatergoers laughing (until they cry, if prior works are any indication), although the actors will be performing the play as intended, as a drama.”
The concept, as in the Mamet and Albee take-offs, came from Fun House producer Bren Rapp (who, in the interest of disclosure, is also the sales and marketing director for TheaterJones), and Jeff Swearingen is writing the script.
“What works about these productions,” says Rapp, “is that Jeff creates a world in which it is entirely feasible that these famous works can play out in unexpected ways, making them accessible for young actors. The purpose is not only to open up a bevy of acting styles to kids which most children’s works don’t explore, but also to introduce them to a canon of work with which they need to be familiar if a life on the stage is something they want to pursue. Why not start them young?”
As a teaser, they've offered up the School Bus version of an oft-quoted line from the original: “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers…I just don’t take candy from them.”
A School Bus Named Desire runs Aug. 14-23, including special industry nights, at Plano Children’s Theatre. Advanced ticket purchase is recommended, at www.funhousetheatreandfilm.com.