OK, time to divulge some details about our new project. I thought it would be best to put it in a Q&A.
How did you conceive the story?
I did zoom interviews with a bunch of students of all ages, gathered as groups within the various age ranges. I started by asking them what genre they were excited about? Drama, comedy, mystery, mockumentary, fantasy, etc. By far, they chose mystery – and that sounded great to us. So we went with it! Once that category was decided, I asked a further series of questions: What is mysterious in your school, your home, your church? Who is mysterious? Why is that person mysterious? What makes them mysterious? What about your school could be a mystery? From that came lots of hysterical circumstances, made-up people and places. It was absolutely delightful to watch how excited the young people got, as they imagined scenarios, from scary to outrageous!
After that I gathered a team of theatre storytellers and together we spent one week to create the story of THE MYSTERY OF CUSTODIA. And then I tossed the story to a wonderful team of composers and writers. They turned the story into scenes, finding spots for songs, and writing everything up. And that’s where we are now!
Where did you come up with Custodia?
A high school student very casually mentioned this name when she was talking about the mysterious place the janitors hang out. I asked her to imagine what it looked like and she described a “murky lair” and that was all I needed to hear.
How is this show written differently than other musicals?
The show is comprised of segments or scenes. Each scene is a monologue or solo – with no one else in the segment. Each student films themselves in their own segment and then submits the video to the teacher who combines them into one video.
How will this be done “virtually?”
There is no need for in-person meetings. The teachers can meet with students via zoom or one of the other video-call apps, offer direction to each student, then combine all of the videos. Teachers can either post the video on youtube or vimeo or they can create a video and host it on their school website.
Make sense? What other questions do you have? I’d love to answer them. Truth is….. there may be questions we don’t know the answers to yet. Let’s wait and find out. Next time we talk about the pilot productions that will happen in July.