“Wilderness People” or “The search for love, a spoon and the meaning of life among giants, chickens, bananas, and bread of wonder” was first produced in Palo Alto in 2001.
This is a story of a journey. Eighteen characters from different Shakespeare plays have mysteriously come together to live in the same forest. (Think “Monty Python meets Shakespeare”.) While they are all squabbling about who has the “most stuff” we see “King Lear the Mad” trying to get back his spoon from Kate and the Antonios. This leads to a funny duel with bananas. A self-absorbed Romeo is also chasing Juliet around the forest. The action is fast-paced with a lot of laughs. (The older kids play the Shakespeare parts.)
In this story, God comes to our unforgettable characters in the form of a small child who says, “No one has time for relationships, even with their Creator. I love them all desperately, even if they don’t have time to notice me.”
The Group II children play the characters from the book of Exodus. Moses is leading the people through the wilderness, where they are fed by the “bread of wonder.” God continues to try to get their attention.
Our Shakespeare characters eventually find themselves in a strange land occupied by Dragons, Unicorns and Faeries. These characters are played by our young campers from Group I.
The next scene is in the land of the “giants.” The children of Group II play the giants and it’s quite funny to see them talking about being “gigantic” to the taller kids from Group IV!
At the end of the play, the people finally do see God. They realize that every journey is different. “We just need to remember that God is here to help us through it.”
The final song, “You Go With God” is simply beautiful.
It’s your journey. No one else can take it.
Walk in light, You know that you can make it.
Just one chance, But you are not forsaken.
For you know, for you know,
You go with God.
“The Greatest Treasure” has been a CMT favorite for years! At the beginning of the show we see the conniving mayor of the Village of Timrut trick the village’s retired pirates into returning to the high seas to find gold. The Pirates reluctantly agree. Once on their voyage, the pirates, who are played by the kids in Group IV, stir up the ocean when they dump their garbage into the sea. They are tossed from their ship and soon find themselves underwater face to face with the Mermaids (group IV). They soon meet several kinds of talking and singing ocean critters. Group I plays the parts of Angelfish and Orcas. Group II plays the parts of Octopus, Jellyfish, Dolphins and Crabs, and Group III plays the part of the rapping garbage monster “Garbagio.” The pirates eventually are asked to come to a meeting of all the sea animals and the Mermaids (The Mermaid court is played by other members of Group III). It is there that they learn that the ocean is indeed a great treasure given to us all by God and that we have been charged to take care of it. The pirates return home in victory! Only the mayor is unhappy by the end of the show.
“The Greatest Treasure” is visually stimulating. Traditionally, this show showcases the Art Department’s talents in both set and costume construction. The music is fantastic, and there is great humor in the story. How can you resist a six-year old child dressed in a crab costume singing, “I’m just a little crabby”?