Based off a British book, student writes script to be performed at schools

Emily Brown, Copy Editor

Duke, a bully with a tough-guy persona.

Claire, a girl who wants to save her family.

Duke must commit a genuine act of kindness and work with Claire to save his mother.

Throw in a magical potion, an enchanted river and a few trolls and the product is the story Horns & Wrinkles by Joseph Helgerson.

Junior Mollie Chesis adapted Horns & Wrinkles, a book published in England, into a script for repertory theater.

Theater director Jeff Yarnell offered his students an opportunity to write a script for a children’s play that would be performed for elementary schools in Jan.

Chesis’ love of creative writing gave her initiative to write the script. After Chesis presented her idea to class, she was chosen to write the script.

“I tried to bring the silly ideas of rep theater and all the crazy people – we are all a little bit crazy- into the show,” she said.

Yarnell said students often adapt a well-known story to base their script off of like Cinderella or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. He said Horns & Wrinkles was a good choice because it was unique.

“This show has some really fun characters in it,” he said. “We were reading through it today and the students were doing some fun troll voices. I think it is something that will make it really enjoyable for kids.”

Chesis said she found writing a script different from writing her usual fiction stories because she had to rely on dialogue.

“You have to think about how it is going to look and how the words are going to come across,” Chesis said. “It has to pack a punch because all you have are those words. You also have to think about stage directions.”

She said editing the script was challenging because she is verbose.

“The characters were already there for me,” Chesis said. “The difficulty was deciding what was essential and what was not. I have my 350-page book and now I have to put it into a 20-minute performance that will send the message across to the audience.”

Yarnell said the script needs revisions before the students can start auditioning for parts.

“There are some things that are tricky,” he said. “Anytime you are doing a children’s book you are free to have as many locations and make things as crazy as you want to make them. But it is hard in reality to have a river scene and have kids swim in the river when it is just the floor.”

She said ultimately, the actors will be up there in silly costumes, saying silly things and singing silly songs and that is what is important.

“The ideas in it are so wild and funky and out there,” she said. “How many times do you get to write about trolls and magical rivers? It is hard not to get excited about something so fantastical.”