Episode 102: The Write Stuff
The Greenies try to write an original show with the help of Chris Colfer, but first they need to inspire some confidence in their friend Spike.
Featured Art: Writing
Writing is incredibly important. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reports that some 80% of jobs later in life require a form of writing competency. However, most educational standards have little regard for creative development, and the Common Core advises a smaller focus on narrative writing when compared to argumentative or informative.
That’s a gap Julie’s Greenroom attempts to fill in. Creative writing is a powerful life tool finding considerably less exposure in classrooms. But story is the foundation of entertainment, and has been key element in the human experience for thousands of years. In addition to the explanation of shared myths and history, the first step of any play, film, book, or television show, is writing the story.
Some curriculum reviews go as far as asserting that drama and the theater arts are “inherently demonstrated” within the pursuit of literacy and analytic writing, but they understate the importance of narrative competency. Beyond just enjoyment and the expression of artistic creativity, jobs in fields like journalism, advertising and public relations demand an understanding of how story works. And the cornerstone of narrative is conflict.
The Greenies learn the core of any story is disagreement – arriving at a point where characters want different things, and subsequently hashing out those differences. The conflicts in popular musicals range from heavy topics like autoimmune disease and segregation to lighter ones like romance and surviving life after college, but all involve the discussion or resolution of conflict. The Greenies will also learn about the importance of character development, as they each design their roles for the musical.
The urge to be creative is a powerful human impulse, and a deeper understanding of writing will help any child engage with it.
Chris Colfer is a Golden Globe-winning, Emmy and SAG Award nominated actor, #1 New York Times bestselling author, screenwriter and producer. Colfer has been included in the TIME 100, Time Magazine's distinguished annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world.
Colfer is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Land of Stories, which has been translated into twenty languages around the world. His first novel in the series, The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, a fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairytales, debuted in 2012 at #1 and spent five consecutive weeks on the list. Two instant bestselling books followed, The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns in 2013 and The Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning in 2014. Colfer’s fourth book, The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdom, was released in July 2015 and debuted at #1, as did the fifth installment, The Land of Stories: An Author’s Odyssey, which debuted in July 2016. The sixth book will be released July 11, 2017. In addition, Colfer recently released The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales, which contains more than thirty-five classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes, plus a survival guide to the Land of Stories.
Colfer’s first picture book The Curvy Tree, a companion book inspired by The Land of Stories, was released in October 2015. Adventures from the Land of Stories Boxed Set, which includes two new original companion volumes featuring characters from the series: Queen Red Riding Hood’s Guide to Royalty and The Mother Goose Diaries was released in November 2015. In Fall 2017, his action-packed graphic novel featuring outlaw and fan favorite, Goldilocks, will be released in 2018.
Colfer’s second young adult novel, Stranger Than Fanfiction, was released on February 28, 2017. The story focuses on Cash Carter, the famous young star of the hit show Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, Carter surprises them by saying yes. Along the way, the curtain is pulled back on their favorite celebrity as they learn his deep secrets. By the end, each comes to understand the meaning of true friendship.
In Spring 2015, Colfer wrapped the sixth and final season of the wildly popular Golden Globe® and SAG award winning series, Glee. His performance as Kurt Hummel has earned him a Golden Globe®, a SAG nomination, as well as two consecutive Emmy® nominations, three People’s Choice Awards, and two Teen Choice Awards.
The Story Pirates believe that kids have the best ideas, and share their wild imaginations with the world through theater, media and educational programs. More from The Story Pirates below:
THE STORY PIRATES PODCAST: We take kids’ stories and turn them into hilarious radio plays starring adult actors and comedians. Then we interview the kid authors themselves to find out what they thought of our adaptations. It’s free and can be found wherever you listen to podcasts.
CALLING ALL KIDS’ IDEAS: Our first book, a collaboration between an 11 year old writer and New York Times best selling author Geoff Rodkey, comes out in March 2018, but guess what — we’re already planning our second book! We’re looking for the wildest, most imaginative ideas that kids can dream up. Visit storypirates.com today to submit your child’s idea and for more details.
SHARING SEATS: Our Sharing Seats program brings live performances to homeless youth and their families in shelters in New York City and Los Angeles. You can help us reach more of these families by visiting storypirates.org/sharingseats today!
Warm Up Game
Episode two is all about writing. That’s why this warmup calls to mind one of the greatest writers of all time: William Shakespeare!
Writing can be a difficult task, and it often helps writers to take a break and get their bodies moving. Some take a walk, others exercise, and some do stretches. But for the Greenroom, we’re going to get up on our feet and shake it all out.
All’s well that ends well, that is what they say
The game is afoot, every dog will have his day
We’ll keep on shaking ‘til an idea takes,
Shake shake shakin’ with the Shakespeare Shakes!
The sound and the fury in this infinite space
It’s as plain as the nose on your face
We will keep on shaking!
We don’t need any breaks!
Shake-shake-shaking with the Shakespeare Shakes!
Now shake your body all around, with a
And that’s the Shakespeare Shakes! For fun, try looking up the plays each of those famous lines comes from. We are huge fans of the classics!