Monday, January 28, 2019
The Alphabet Caper
A staged reading at Olympia Family Theater
Ted Ryle and Miriam Sterlin will host a staged reading of their original musical, The Alphabet Caper one night only, Sunday, Feb. 10.
They hope to fill the OFT space with friends of the theater who can offer insights on how they can continue to shine it up! It's a work in progress. Theater people, they're seeking your input. "We’re hoping to produce this project in the next OFT season," Ryle says.
The play transpires in Halonah’s bedroom. She’s a whip-smart, super creative elementary-aged girl. The letters (most of the characters in the show) are a figment of her imagination, and an expression of her creative and emotional life. Everything is peachy in her playground - she and the letters are making up songs, X and Y are helping her with her algebra homework- nothing but good times. Until Halonah learns she is having a baby sister, and her well-ordered world is turned upside down. Things start to go sideways in the alphabet. The vowels revolt against the consonants. Then one of the letters disappears entirely, and the caper commences!
From Ted Ryle:
Halonah loves letters, and the sounds they make. She just loves letters, and their twisty, turny shapes! “A, E, I love U, O yeah!” This magical, musical caper in two acts takes place in Halonah’s bedroom. Animation and live-action characters bring to life the Alphabetastics - a performing ensemble directly out of Halonah’s imagination. Halonah frolics with her frenetic, phonetic friends during most of the first act, exploring language and word play, figuring out her algebra homework with X and Y, and dancing the ‘Hopscotch, Hokey Pokey, Hand Jive’ with her favorite letter H, the female lead of the Alphabetastics.
The alphabet is an expression of Halonah’s creative prowess, as well as a soothing salve when she is distressed - "All you have to do is breathe." H sings to help her calm her nerves. Then, the world shakes, things fall out of place, and Halonah’s well-ordered, letter-filled universe is turned inside out when she learns she’s having a baby sister. Soon the roil of her emotions explodes in to chaos amongst the alphabet, vowels revolt against consonants, tension abounds, and then H disappears altogether, launching us in to the caper of the vanishing letter: "A malevolent deed! Are none of us safe? Can someone please explain the disappearance of H?"
Who is the alpha-culprit? Was it G, H’s neighbor? H modifies her, and sometime when H is around it’s as though G’s not even there! How about C, P or T? She modifies them too? Maybe it’s sticky fingers S. He’s always pocketing things- ‘More, mine, plural, possessive!’ Then suspicion centers on the eccentric end of the alphabet. Is it the inquisitive W, who aspires to the ingenue role currently played by H. Or X, who envies H, and misses being Halonah’s favorite letter, who loved her exotic, exceptional, mysterious ways. Y is the male lead of the alphabetastics. Maybe it’s him. And then there’s Z, as suspicious as can be . . . and not much else to do at the end of the alphabet.
This play looks to be a unique, highly interactive, fantastical experience for the whole family. Silliness, and numerous sight gags will play to the youngest among us. Abundant word-play will enrapture those in the midst of expanded language discovery, and the nuance of the alphabet world with relational drama and occasional entendre will engage the olders in our audience.
We hope you can join us. Please bring little people, if you have any handy!
The Alphabet Caper
February 10, 6 p.m.
Olympia Family Theater
612 4th Ave E, Olympia, 360-570-1638.