"The legend was that the Snow Queen spent her youth traveling to the forgotten villages of the deep South, making it snow in the summertime. She had an evil ambition to turn our whole world into an icy glacier of hatred and avarice. So, she found others. Others with gifts. Children, mostly. Orphans with magic that they maybe didn’t even know about yet. She exploited them cruelly and became rich off of the labor. She fed them scraps and made them drink dirty snow water. She hated these magical children, but she knew their worth, for she called them Les Merveilleuses: The Marvelous Ones.”
Full length, theatre for young audiences
Version for child performers: Up to 16 actors, 1 male, 1 female, 14 flexible (including one non-binary character)
Version for adult performers: 3 men, 3 women (flexible)
Marvelous was commissioned by and premiered at the Drama School at Seattle Children's Theatre, July 31 - August 2, 2014. Director: Amanda Lee Williams. Cast: Hannah Klein, Sydney Mayer, Amelie Whitesell, Milo Palmer, Maya Rice, Mallika Shah, Nila Dudley, Aaron Sterne, Kayleigh Kinder, Reiko Wellington, Fiona Alhadeff, Lily Svelmoe, Mayfield Vashti-Roberts, and Allison McGinnis
Bainbridge Performing Arts, November 12 & 14, 2014.
The year is 1932. Kai and Gertie are best friends who've grown up together in a traveling circus. Gertie's mom is the famous trapeze artist Lula Lane, Kai is the famous Boy Wonder, whose angelic voice is said to heal any ailment. They both live in terror of the evil boss lady, Ms. Maudie Blackmore, who keeps Kai--an orphan--in indentured servitude, forcing him to eat table scraps and sleep with the pigs.
One morning when Gertie goes to find Kai, he is gone. And Gertie's in for another shock: Kai's bunk mate, Sal the Educated Pig, can talk--and so can all the other animals in the circus. Sal believes that Kai has been kidnapped, but he knows that there's only one person in the circus who can find out for sure: Goleta the Snake Charmer. Scared, but determined to help Kai, Gertie and Sal visit Goleta, who sends her snakes out to search the vast snake network for information on Kai's disappearance. After a long night of waiting, Virgil the Snake returns with the news that Kai has, indeed, been taken, and by none other than the world's most nefarious sorceress: The Snow Queen.
Gertie and Sal go on a quest to rescue Kai. Along the way, they are captured (and then befriended) by Lou, the robber kid, who helps them talk their way into another circus where they plan to put Gertie up as a magic kid in an effort to tempt The Snow Queen's henchmen into kidnapping her, too.
But here, things go a little sideways. The henchman does show up, but in a surprising form, and Gertie does make it to The Snow Queen's camp, but she finds something very different there than what she was expecting.
In the end, Gertie learns that there's more than one way to be special and that even the most "unmagical" of us can make a difference in the world.
Marvelous is based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen.
If you're on the New Play Exchange, you can download the full text of Marvelous here.