Tuesday, April 15, 2014

an "epoch" in my life

There's a scene in the book Penderwicks on Gardam Street  where one of the sisters, Jane, has her play performed and she thrilled beyond measure--when she realizes, “... all this was the result of her imagination come to life.”

Well, this weekend, I felt the same way! I truly had, as Anne of Green Gables would say, an "epoch" in my life. Because, for the first time, I was able to see my book performed as a play!

Being the author of the book, Wheelock let me have some sneak peaks before the show. Unfortunately, I was so captivated by everything, I didn't take that many photos! But here are some that I did take.

First, there was the set. It simple, but so effective! One of my favorite parts of the show is the fact that the never had the moon and the mountain onstage together until the very end...until the "mountain meet the moon." Such a subtle but effective touch!

 And then there were the costumes and props! They were amazing! I'm really sad that I didn't take more pictures. There were more than 70 costumes to create and the wardrobe people made all of them (working until the crack of dawn before the show, I am told). I was so impressed! These are the heads for the stone lions and the green tiger:

And then right before the curtain opened, I sneaked in and saw the performers:

 including some of my favorite characters, the monkeys:

And then it was SHOWTIME!

And it was wonderful.

Truly, truly, I loved it! I thought it was the perfect stage adaptation. The actress, Caroline Workman,  who played Minli was incredible, I couldn't believe she was only 14 years old. She had the perfect balance of earnestness, enthusiasm and optimism. And Ba (played by Michael Tow) truly captured the kindness of the character I envisioned while Ma (Grace Napier) was played with just the right mix of vulnerability and bitterness. For her part, Rain Dragon adored Dragon (Stewart Evan Smith) and has been talking about "Red Dragon" ever since the show.  But ALL the actors and actresses were marvelous!

And Wheelock, true to their "color-blind casting" added some surprising but completely cool things. For example, one small part was given to a deaf actor who signed in Chinese sign language!

So, obviously I ♥ the show!

At the end of Saturday's show, they asked me to come onstage, which was another thrill...

Which I will truly remember my whole life!

Many people have asked me if the show will be coming to their area. All I can say is, I wish it would! Wheelock decided to produce Where the Mountain Meets the Moon after someone on their advisory board heard (and saw) the Stages production in MN. After seeing that show, she brought the script to Wheelock and the rest is history!

So if you'd like to have the show come to your area, I'd suggest doing the same. Find a local theater company and recommend  the play. The script is available and I think Wheelock might even rent out their costumes and props!  Or if you are interested in the musical version, you could even contact the Bay Area Children's Theater about their script! I'd love to see the story performed everywhere, and not just for selfish reasons.

But, in the meantime, please see the Wheelock show! You won't be disappointed!


Janet Wong said...

As for the costumes and props . . . if you can manage to get a few, this will make Halloween prep (not now, but for ages 7-9 or so) much, much easier--and very personally meaningful!

Mom of 3 Wonderful Kids said...

Congratulations, Grace! Such a wonderful testament to not only an incredible story but a talented author as well!

Diana Vahedi said...

Congratulations, Grace. You are such a talented author and illustrator. I'm looking forward to seeing you at my school next week.

Grace Lin said...

Thanks all! Janet, I coveted the costumes and props but then I found out that Wheelock rents out their wardrobe when other theaters put on the same show...and I'd much rather have the play potentially shown again elsewhere than to take them for my own!

Tom Banaszewski said...


We enjoyed your visit to the HKIS middle school very much and were inspired to develop a readers theatre script for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky. We wish we lived near one of the stage performances of the books so we could compare our adaptations. If you have time to give a read to our work, we'd love to hear what you think.

You can read the two scripts at our class blog here: