Archive for Notes from Mary – Page 2

Junior Theater Festival

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013


I’m about to travel to one of my favorite events of the year: the annual Junior Theater Festival in Atlanta, Georgia. Over the holiday weekend, more than 3000 kids will act, dance, and sing at a show space in the Hotel Renaissance, Waverly. The young performers come from schools and amateur theater groups all over the country and will be performing excerpts from musicals from Music Theater International’s Broadway Junior Collection, such as Little Mermaid and Frog and Toad.

My husband Will and I love watching kids perform. But even more than that, we love watching kids joyfully support each other, as the kids in the audience shout encouragement and clap in rhythm with the kids onstage. There are theater competitions at the festival, but the true spirit of the wholeevent is one of supportive enthusiasm. In this environment, all the kids come out winners.

Will and I are happy to announce that Magic Tree House musical plays based on Dinosaurs Before Dark and the Knight at Dawn (composed & written by Randy Courts and Jenny Laird) will soon be part of the MTI collection of shows available for kids all over the country to perform. So next year at the Junior Theater Festival, along with singing mermaids and dancing frogs onstage, we hope we’ll see baby dinosaurs and knights in armor — and lots of Jacks and Annies as well.

Categories : Notes from Mary

Polar Bears and the Arctic

Friday, December 28th, 2012


More Fun Facts !!  This time, it’s “Polar Bears and the Arctic”

1.  When they stand up, many polar bears are as tall as a one-story building.

2.  Polar bears can smell a seal under several feet of ice from a mile away!

3.  Polar bears are so strong they can swim 60 miles out to sea.

4.  For two months in the summer the sun doesn’t set in the Arctic.

5.  Polar bears can eat 100 pounds of food at one sitting!

6.  People have lived in the freezing Arctic for thousands of years.

Categories : Notes from Mary

Jazz Music

Monday, October 29th, 2012


For decades I’ve loved the early jazz music of New Orleans. The songs from Louis Armstrong’s first records are not only joyful, funny, and mysterious, they are also uniquely American. I really hope that today’s children will become more familiar with the sounds of early jazz and be grateful for the rich musical heritage that Armstrong and other jazz greats gave to this country.

To this end, just last week, we premiered “A Night in New Orleans”, a musical based on Magic Tree House Book #42, A Good Night for Ghosts, at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. What a fantastic turn-out! It was amazing to see how kids responded to the music, young actors and talented musicians. It will be so exciting to bring the musical to New Orleans in the Spring.

Categories : Notes from Mary

More Fun Facts: Ghosts

Friday, October 19th, 2012


1. New Orleans is said to be the most haunted city in America.
2. Abraham Lincoln’s ghost is said to haunt the White House. There is a story that the Queen of Holland was visited by it when she was staying there.
3. There are ghost tours you can take in New Orleans and Washington D.C.
4. Halloween came from a custom in Ireland where people believed that on a certain night the spirits of the dead walked the earth.
5. Windsor Castle which is Queen Elizabeth’s castle in England is supposed to be the most haunted castle in the world.
6. Ghost hunters are people who go in and check people’s houses out for ghosts.

Categories : Notes from Mary