It’s A Wrap!
Students Learn from Sketch and Improvisational Comedy Troupe
The Story Pirates sailed into Applewild School for a week long writing workshop residency, courtesy of the Marshall Fund for the Creative Arts. Story Pirates is a nationally recognized group of artists and educators whose mission is to celebrate the words and ideas of young people. With a belief that kids have the best ideas, they turn students’ stories into wildly comedic musicals to showcase the children’s amazing ideas. Five “World Premiere” stories, written by Applewild students were performed with the last story of the day being an audience participation story developed entirely on the spot, complete with costumes and singing!
During the residency, every Applewild student participated in story-writing workshops with the Pirates. For Lower School students (Kindergarten – grade 5) stories used the theme of heroes. All year, students have been writing and discussing what it means to be a hero. Students in grades 6 – 8 studied the finer points of writing comedy and focused on “the fish out of water” theme.
Everyone has a story
Five stories were premiered at the “The New Story Show” as the residency wrapped up. From sparking imagination, to paper, to stage – young authors saw their stories built into fully produced sketches and musicals. The Kindergarten and First Grade collaborated on the story of Bob, the Blue Shoe. Other students who saw their words on stage included Azucena Thibault-Munoz’s Michelle’s Magical Monday, Nigel O’Neill’s Cat Man vs. Bounty Hunter Dog, and KK Eydenberg’s Shoo Shoo the Astronaut Lion Cub which was inspired by Scott Kelly’s return from space. The Story Pirates turned Shoo Shoo… into a musical set to the late David Bowie’s “Major Tom”.
While Applewild’s Lower School students worked their stories around the theme of Heroes, the 6 – 8th graders learned how to write skits, focusing on using a “fish out of water” as the vehicle for comedy. In their skit, the 6th grade placed a main character, Jamal, a prehistoric cave dweller, in a world totally foreign to him, taking a job at Starbucks! Well received, Jamal and his Job had the audience roaring in laughter.
The Story Pirates are used to hearing laughter from their school audiences. They’ve been crafting their art for over 10 years. While creating enthusiasm for writing is serious work, The Story Pirates aren’t just teaching the mechanics of storytelling, they are also some of Los Angeles and New York’s best improvisers and musicians and they love to work with and listen to kids. The Story Pirates receive over 30,000 original story submissions form kids many of which can be heard on their satellite radio show or their Podcast.