By Amilo Rajandram (age 10)
Alcott Elementary School
I recently went to watch a series of plays on a field trip at the Dominican University, at 7900 W Division Street. They included plays by Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Washington Irving, W.W. Jacobs, and Guy De Maupassant.
The first and second plays were written by Edgar Allan Poe. The first one was called “The Raven”, and it was about a diseased woman called Lenore. The second play was called “The Tell-Tale Heart”, and it was about a crazy narrator who cared for an old man, but he hated the old man’s pale vulture eye. I think that both plays were eerie, and murky.
The next play was by Washington Irving, called “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. It was about a gangly, long-nosed man called Ichabod Crane, and he looked like a scarecrow. He was a goofy schoolmaster who was invited to a wealthy man’s house for a party. There he fell in love with the host’s beautiful daughter, named Katrina, but a strapping, young villager named Brom Bones was competing with Ichabod to marry fair Katrina. Moreover, the old people at the party were talking about a headless horseman who haunted Sleepy Hollow in The Witching Hour. He was said to have his head blasted off in the revolutionary war, but he wore a hideous carved pumpkin on his severed neck. Brom Bones said he saw this perilous man pursuing him, as he rode his horse, Daredevil all the way to the bridge, and then the horseman vanished in a clap of thunder. Although this play is ghostly, and ghoulish, it is a little bit more cheerful than the other plays, because the characters are very witty.
The fourth play was called “The Monkey’s Paw”, by W.W. Jacobs. This story was about a joyous family, consisting of Mr White, Mrs White, and their son, Herbert, but they wanted to have some extra money, so they could pay off their mortgage. They got hold of a monkey’s paw that would grant three wishes, but the woman who gave it to them told them to wish for something realistic, or they would suffer a terrible fate. Nevertheless, they did not acknowledge her warning. My opinion on this story is that it is the most petrifying, and breath-taking, because of the visual effects.
This next play had the same theme as the previous one: don’t be greedy. It was a French tale called “The Necklace”, by Guy De Maupassant. It was about a young woman called Matilda. She was spoilt, because she would demand her husband to give her whatever she wanted. This play was not spooky, but Matilda goes through a hard lesson.
The last play was called “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, by Mark Twain. It was about a man that gambled a lot, and always won the bets. One day he found a frog that could jump very far, so he bet a lot of money that he could jump further than any frog in Calaveras County. This play was humorous, and jubilant.
Overall, I think all the plays were spectacular, and the puppets, and props were marvellous, because they looked realistic. An example of this is that in The Tell Tale Heart, they used a cleaver that they were bringing down, and then up to maul someone, but every time they brought it back up, the cleaver would be dripping in fake blood. I would also recommend an age range of 9-13 years