Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Cookie Jar

L to R: Eric Hohn, Mary Ann Raymond, Josephine Brown, Jenny Karr, Audrey Ann Thompson.

In the spring of 1972, The Children's Theatre Company mounted the fifth original play for young audiences authored by founder and artistic director John Clark Donahue: The Cookie Jar. (The four original JCD plays for families preceding it were Good Morning, Mr. Tillie (1966, 1970), Hang On to Your Head (1967), Old Kieg of Malfi (1968), and How Could You Tell? (1969).
A contemporary parable about values: the evils of TV-induced consumerism, most especially. Offered here are three audio clips from the original production (it was presented again as a regional touring production the following year and also in the "new theatre" ten years later, in 1982) as well as video clips from both of its mainstage productions. Script and lyrics by John Clark Donahue. Music composed and arranged by resident composer Roberta Carlson.

Ken Williams as Winde.

"Black-Eyed Pea." Performed by Kim Livingston as Black-Eyed Pea.

In summer, when the air is heavy breath
And the butterfly can float upon its back,
I used to hide deep in the pea patch
And listen to the warm ground breathing back.
And I'd wonder how the earth got so black.

Black-Eyed Pea, Black-Eyed Pea,
If you're wond'rin' where this song comes from
Then take a look at me.

In summer I'd pick the blossoms from the pea vine
And I would wind them through my hair
Then I'd scoop the black dirt up and toss it everywhere
I musta been blessing the pea patch
'Cause it was quiet and holy there.

Later on in the summer, when the peas were ready to eat,
I went down to the pea patch, the air was smelling sweet.
I gazed into the garden and there to my surprise,
The pea patch I saw before my eyes was a pea patch in disguise.
Instead the leaves were silver wings
And the pods were slippers fine
And the waters from the rain before were jewels upon the vine.
I was the ruler of the kingdom, my subjects were so fine,
If you want a favor from me, just ask me any time.

Black-Eyed Pea, Black-Eyed Pea,
If you're wonderin' where this song comes from
Just take a look at me.

L to R: Matt Brassil, Wendy Lehr, Bridget McNellis

1972 Video Documentation (Rehearsal without Lighting Cues and Partial Orchestra):

Act 1:

Middle of Act 1 through Act 2:

Playbill, 1972:

Playbill, 1973 (Tour):

Production photos, 1982:

"Get, Get, Get." Performed by Cookieland Kids, with members of the Stale Cake Company: Guy Paul as Daddy Tutti-Fruit Hat, Wendy Lehr as Diana Dumbstrut, Jim Stowell as Oreo Cookie Man, Chris Mulkey as Captain Steal, Barbe Larsen as Dorothy Doughie, Patrick McNellis as Electric Piggybank Man.

Ken Williams as Winde, Eric Hohn as Bubble, Bill Dovali as Wet Paint Bill, Josephine Brown as Mother Mary,
John Jenkins as Old Glue Needle, Kim Livingston as Black Eyed Pea.

"Don't Be Grabbin'" Vocals led by Ken Williams as Winde, with residents of the Matchbox House.


Video 1 of 6.

Video 2 of 6.

Video 3 of 6.

Video 4 of 6.

Video 5 of 6.

Video 6 of 6.

1982 Playbill (Some pages cropped):

Clockwise from bottom: Josephine Brown as Mother Mary, Arthur Phillips as Bubble,
Dennis Spears as Winde,  Stephen Boe as Old Glue Needle, J.D. Steele as Wet Paint Bill,
Kim Livingston as Black Eyed Pea.

1 comment:

  1. Hi,Thanks a lot and really happy to see such a wonderful comment.

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