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Grove Community Playmakers

“Nightingale”- Playmakers’ summer youth production

An award-winning adaptation of “Nightingale” by John Urquhart & Rita Grauer from the famous tale by Hans Christian Andersen is a participatory play of the highest quality for family audiences. It is an important achievement in the often underestimated but difficult genre of participation plays, winning the American Association for Theatre Education’s 1984 Distinguished Play Award. The original story by Hans Christian Andersen can be found at the Grove public library as well as online.
The Playmakers are taking on the challenge of their first youth participatory play with a very smart cast, dedicated parents and production volunteers. It is the first presentation of this play in Oklahoma. “Nightingale” opens with a Sunday matinee on July 15 at 2:00 at The Playmakers’ theatre, 121 W 3rd in Grove. It continues on Tuesdays, July 17 & 24 at 7:00 pm, Sunday, July 22 at 2:00; Fridays, July 20 & 27 at 7:00, and Saturday, July 28, 2018. This production is provides a special opportunity for grandparents to entertain visiting grandchildren.
Cast members include: Skylur Davidson (emperor); Emily Thomas (nightingale); Annaliese Cunningham, Victoria Cunningham, Jenna Lynn, Katherine Mote, and Kate Thomas (servants of the Emperor); Raine Feather (servant & mechanical bird); Madeline Mote and Addison Salkill (oriental gods); Richie McKinney (fisherman and court musician); and Sam Fletcher and Maddix Bond (guards for the emperor). Members of the cast will take part, also, in the Grove Public Library’s Junior Kids Book Club program about the “Nightingale” on July 24 at 1:00 p.m.
Some cast members in this version of the play may take on more than one role. They may interpret the narration through dance or portray an oriental god and then become a narrator in another scenes. In addition to the elements in this imaginative script, there will be lots of flowers & robes for the emperor to be given to him by young audience members. Streamers suggesting wind and fire, interpretative dance, acrobatics and even the use of simple martial arts add to visually to an artistic set.
In the story, something is amiss in the court of a great oriental emperor. Obsessed by his worldly possessions, he has grown blind to the needs of his people and the real treasures of life. Ancient oriental gods, the nightingale and the audience join forces to cure the emperor of his possessive and grasping ways.
The themes of the story suggest that it is more important to value things that endure rather than passing fads, things that are real, not artificial. This is illustrated by the gift of a beautiful nightingale music box which pleases the emperor so much that he forgets the beautiful song that the real nightingale has sung. When the emperor is near death, and the artificial bird no longer works, the real nightingale's song restores his health.
Mari Ness, author and poet, discusses the background of the writing in Andersen’s 1843 tale. She says that it “can partly be seen as a response to the incoming Industrial Revolution. Automated music was not a new thing. Watches that played tiny, tinny melodies could be purchased as early as the 1760s, and Andersen had presumably at least heard of, if not personally seen, the “singing birds”—early music boxes featuring mechanical birds that slowly revolved and flapped their wings.”
She adds that Andersen’s caution is that for all our love of mechanical things, and for everything they can bring, and for their very real function, we should not become too dependent on them—or forget real birds, and forests, and bird song.
Get this intriguing show on your schedule now; seating is limited. There are no paper tickets at The Playmakers. Just call (918) 786-8950 to reserve seats or email us at For your convenience, you may also reserve your seats online at Keep updated on the production at Playmakers at FB: grove playmakers theatre.
Prices are $15 for adults and $8 for students, UE and above; $5 for students in EEC and Kindergarten. Group rates are available for twelve or more adults or children. Please find an alternate activity for children under four years of age. The appropriate minimum age level for this play is four years of age and is based on the capability of the student to understand the content of this production. Young children, four years old through sixth grade must be accompanied by an adult.

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