Monday, May 07, 2012

The Storm in Portland: The Big Recap

I'm back from a fun-filled week in (occasionally) sunny Portland to promote and then finally see the Oregon Children's Theater's production of The Storm in the Barn. It is outstanding. I was blown away by the inventive theatricality of the staging, the gorgeous score, the fine performances, and the overall faithfulness to my book. My sincere thanks to the entire creative team for their passion and commitment to making something very special indeed.

Here's a video with their thoughts on the production:

The set was spare and minimal with the full cast onstage throughout. It was very effective. The lighting was beautiful and the play opens with a mesmerizing dust storm created with shadows, wind, and a scrim that covered the stage. I could have watched that for an hour.

As I've said before, the music by Black Prairie is perfect. Their score was played live onstage by the actors and kept the fast-paced play moving smoothly. I had the chance to hang out one night with Chris Funk, Jenny Conlee, and Jon Neufeld from the band and they couldn't have been nicer. The soundtrack is now available on CD or download and you can get it HERE, on iTunes, or from CDBaby.

On May 5th, the band played the score live with actors reciting from the play, visuals from the book, and several stuffed bunnies.

I loved that a) the play had a real 1920s truck onstage and b) it doubled for Dorothy's room.

Here's me with real-life sister & brother Steele and Jack Clevenger. They were both fantastic in their roles!

I also would like to thank Pam from A Children's Place Bookstore which is an amazing indie store! If you are in Portland, definitely stop by. Try to find the spot where David Shannon drew on the wall. On addition to hosting me for a signing, Pam helped set up a school visit while I was in town and I got to meet some students who had voted for Storm in the Oregon Readers' Choice Awards. Thanks again, guys!

Well, I think that covers it. The whole journey of bringing my book to the stage has been exciting, creative, and thoroughly enjoyable. If you are in Portland this month, try to catch a show. You won't regret it.

Play photos by Owen Carey. Check out the full set on Flickr.

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