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Princess Bee and the Royal Good-Night Story

Once upon a time, there was a book . . .

PRINCESS BEE PHOTO

It was my very first picture book, and, as with much of my work, it was about the importance of shared stories.  It was delightfully illustrated by Cat Bowman Smith.  Like so many other books, it enjoyed good reviews, but, all too soon, it went out of print.  Years passed, I wrote many other books, but I never forgot Princess Bee.

One day, in a far-off land of princesses, I attended a remarkable performance by the Oily Cart company and fell in love with the concept of  Theater for the Very Young.

My first attempt was an adaptation of another picture book, HERE COMES GOSLING.  Then I picked up PRINCESS BEE AND THE ROYAL GOOD-NIGHT STORY and got a strong feeling that it could become a charming musical for the very young.  I wrote the book and song lyrics.  And I began my search for a composer to do the music.  That search went on for years.  The right person would be someone I could trust who knew music and theater . . . who understood very young children . . . and whose work I respected.  I knew I would find that person.  Eventually, someday, soon . . .

And now, I have found him.  As I write this, music for the last of six songs is being composed by the very talented Richard Biever, of State College, PA, who directed the first workshop presentation at Singing Onstage on July 9, 2014.  The cast was wonderful, the audience was enthusiastic, and Rich and I learned a great deal about the script and have been happily at work on it ever since.

The day grows closer when Princess Bee, her mum the Queen, her dad the King, the Royal Big Sister, and the Royal Big Brother will at last come to life on stage, and this story will have a happy ending.

CHARACTERS:

MUM – the Queen, Bee’s mother

PRINCESS BEE – the youngest of the family, always has a favorite stuffed toy nearby

DAD —  the King, Bee’s father

THE ROYAL BIG SISTER – the oldest child, usually wears a baseball cap and glove

THE ROYAL BIG BROTHER – the middle child, carries a toy sword and shield

NOTE:  BEE’S stuffed toy might be a puppet dog or cat that she manipulates to respond sympathically as needed.

TIME:  Once upon a . . .

PLACE:  The Royal Palace.  BEE’S bed up center.  Royal breakfast table and chairs down left.

SONGS:

“Princess Beatrice, Better Known As Bee” – spritely  (full cast at opening and reprised at curtain call)

“Once Upon a Time” – a lullaby (MUM and BEE; later reprised with full cast)

“There’s So Much to Do When You’re a Princess” – lively at first, then reprised with growing exhaustion (BEE)

“The Bad Night Story” – a song for tossing and turning  (BEE)

“Soon Isn’t Soon Enough” — a bit frantic, but fun  (ROYAL BIG SISTER, ROYAL BIG BROTHER, and DAD)

“Listen With Your Heart” – a gentle, calming song (DAD, BEE, ROYAL BIG BROTHER, ROYAL BIG SISTER)

PLAYING TIME:  about 40 minutes

SYNOPSIS:  When her mum, the Queen, leaves on a trip to Goodness-Knows-Where for three whole days and three whole nights, Bee frets over missing her wonderful good-night stories.  The Royal Big Sister and Royal Big Brother take turns filling in with stories of their own, though Bee protests that that’s Mum’s job and, anyway, their stories are too short.  Mum never, ever runs out of story before Bee falls asleep.  At last, Bee’s dad, the King, makes a suggestion that inspires Bee to find the wonder of Mum’s stories within herself.

For more information or a copy of this script, please email me at sandyasher@gmail.com.

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