This One’s Just Right
GU Children’s Theater does ‘Goldilocks’ parody justice
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 10:02
Though many of us remember the protagonist in the story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” getting away scot-free, Georgetown University Children’s Theater has other ideas for the golden-haired heroine. In “Goldilocks on Trial,” a play written by Ed Monk, a court of rambunctious characters tries Goldilocks for breaking and entering and attempts to determine exactly what happened the day the Bear family found her in their home. The theater group will be performing the children’s play for local kids and the Georgetown community several times this semester.
For those less familiar with GU Children’s Theater, it is perhaps the most altruistic theater group on campus. Each semester, the club brings a production to D.C. kids who would not ordinarily have the opportunity to experience theater. The members perform at inner city schools, parks, after school programs and sometimes hospitals, and they always do so with enthusiasm and style.
This semester, the theater troupe has dedicated itself to an alternative telling of a classic children’s story that brings in a slew of new characters. After hearing emphatic testimonies from the Bear family, viewers are given the perspectives of less familiar characters like the Third Little Pig (who did not get eaten by the wolf) and the Big Bad Wolf himself. To supplement the courtroom setting, Monk also provides for a theatrical defense attorney and prosecutor, both of whom bring a combative but entertaining relationship to the plot.
Chris Egan (MSB ’17) gives a particularly impressive performance as the love-struck wolf, willing to go to any length to maintain Goldilocks’ innocence.
“We’ve been about just getting the energy up, getting excited, trying to learn the lines and if not, just yelling through them,” he said as the secret to the cast’s success.
The play certainly did not lack energy, which was clearly a result of the collaborative, enthusiastic and giggly cast. All first-time actors for GU Children’s Theater, the cast members have bonded wonderfully this semester and their chemistry is obvious to audience members.
“I’m just really blown away by my cast. They are just incredible people and never have they failed to make me laugh,” director Rabia Mirza (COL ’16) said. “They listen to constructive criticism really well, and they’ve just taken this play beyond my expectations and have turned it into something that I did not foresee, in a good way.”
Since they are performing for children, it is important for the cast to stay energized and attentive throughout the production. To ensure that its audience stays interested, the cast actively talks to them as “the jury” and even asks for their input at various moments.
“I think that in all theater, you’re speaking to the audience, but especially with children’s theater it is important to keep the audience engaged and be directly communicating to them and make them feel like we are actually talking to them and like they are part of the show,” said Danny Woods (SFS ’16).
Like all good children’s stories, “Goldilocks on Trial” aims to teach young audience members important values, such as telling the truth, respecting others and remembering that there are two sides to every story.
Producer Caitlin Snell (COL ’16) attaches the phrase “Boom, morals!” to these moments in the play, which will undoubtedly be well-received by their young patrons. Of course, the cast imparts these messages in ironic and expressive ways that will surely leave the audience in stitches. One particularly humorous thread in the web of lies weaved by the cast is the claim that “Parental Porridge Syndrome” compelled Goldilocks to eat the Bear family’s porridge; to understand the full diagnosis, make sure to go see the show for yourself.
While the cast does try to impart valuable morals and lessons to the children in the audience, it made sure to include some jokes catered to an older age group (notably ones referencing “The Hunger Games” and “A Few Good Men”).
“We do put jokes in that we laugh at, and we hope that everyone who comes to see it will. We do make it an all-ages show and we do hope that everyone will come and enjoy it,” Snell said.
Although it only spans 30 minutes, “Goldilocks on Trial” is bursting with laughable and educational moments for all ages. The cast has worked purposefully in rehearsals throughout the semester and is looking forward to sharing its work with local children and the Georgetown community.
To witness the craziness in the courtroom and to find out whether Goldilocks is deemed innocent or guilty, come out to McNeir Auditorium tonight at 7 p.m. for the debut of GU Children’s Theater’s spring production of “Goldilocks on Trial.”