Early Stages presents an all ages, story-based, theatrical event based on Mark Twain’s classic novel, The Prince and the Pauper.
A lot of people think that The Prince and the Pauper is about a longing look at the lifestyle of another--a kind of Grass is always greener theme. But in the original novel by Mark Twain, the two boys don’t choose to switch roles, it is an accident sparked by the seed of nobility lying within each of them and spurred by circumstance. Both Tom Canty and Prince Edward (the only son of Henry VIII) find themselves trapped in cultures that are frighteningly foreign to their own. Both manage to survive through courage and ingenuity and become better humans for it. Indeed the world becomes a better place. The very course of history is changed and, through the adventure, we are all exhorted to deepen our sense of empathy by considering the pressures that others may endure everyday. The story explores themes of identity, yes, but also examines peer pressure, advocates kindness and asks the question, “What makes a person noble; is it a skill that can be acquired through money, breeding and training, or is it a grace that one is born with?”
There have been an astounding number of modern takes inspired by the classic novel by Mark Twain, from Warner Brothers Burbank Studios with Errol Flynn and Claude Rains, to Hallmark television with Aidan Quinn and Alan Bates to Barbie to Wishbone. Even the Smurfs made an episode titled, The Prince and the Hopper.
Theatre students from CCSU have used the story to practice several different approaches to adapting literature for the stage. This practice emphasizes the author’s intent as well as the perspective of a modern audience and desires that we all read more. The result is six short vignettes that together tell the story of the novel.
CCSU Theatre has teamed with Dr. Augustine Cofrancesco’s MAP (Multicultural Arts Programs), HALS Adademy and Naylor Academy to bring children from grades 3-7 from New Britain, Plainville and Hartford along on this exploration. A series of workshops will culminate in a showing of artwork in conjunction with the performance, in which over 50 students will perform alongside CCSU Theatre students.
Master of Ceremonies, Self Suffice, the RaPoet, will pilot the performance from vignette to vignette, employing his spoken-word mastery to provide the connections between.
Before the performance, stop by Maloney Hall at noon to view the art and enjoy refreshments.
The event is free and open to the public.