Children's and Liturgical Opera Company, LLC
www.chancelopera.com
 
CHILDREN'S MUSICAL PLAY: Robie: the Robot who Couldn't Smile
 
 

ROBIE: THE ROBOT WHO COULDN’T SMILE

a musical play with story conceived by Kirk Hughes

libretto by Ellen Greist • music and lyrics by

children of Worthington Hooker Elementary School

assisted by Susan Hulsman Bingham

 

Program cover designed by Dan Mergner

 

VOICING:

treble voices

CAST:

 

20-50 actors, including:Narrators, Robie, Megadine, Eugenianda, Balberto, Drexel, Henchmen, Roan Tumble, Dandy O'Toole, Camera Man, Otto, Junkyard Kids.

ACCOMPANIMENT:

treble chorus, piano

CHORUS:

How we did it: 50 third graders sang in a "chorus-only" chorus; fourth graders sang in this chorus as well, but emerged from the chorus group to play individual parts.

DANCE:

free form group dances as needed

PROPS:

may be made by the children. Simple is fine.

SOURCE OF TEXTS:

Original idea: Kirk Hughes; libretto: Ellen Greist

LANGUAGE:

English

MUSICAL STYLE:

tonal, melodic, lyrical

SCENES:

nine

DURATION:

60 minutes

PREMIER:

 

Sprague Memorial Hall, Yale University, New Haven, CT • 1997

 

SYNOPSIS

 

Children build a robot in a junk yard. Three computer hackers, innocent fugitives from the lethal weapon-producing Warbinger Corporation, come upon the robot and "morph" him, but they are scared off by their pursuers before they can program him to smile. Children return the next day to find their robot animated but permanently glum. Their efforts to inspire him to smile remind them about what is great in life. Meanwhile, the Warbingers remain in pursuit . . .

 

A note from the program of the premier performance:

Dear Parents and Friends: Writer Kirk Hughes conceived of our story idea in the summer of 1996, and writer/director/storyteller Ellen Greist wrote the major portion of the libretto. While we waited for Ms. Greist to finish the work, the children wrote many songs about how to make Robie smile -- many too many, as it turned out.

Since we did not want any of the children's work to go unheard, we introduce this musical play with an unusual overture: a series of songs which had to be "cut" from the story in order for the show to be balanced, but which in every way qualify as fine work fit for performance.

Piano/vocal/percussion score of ROBIE, THE ROBOT WHO COULDN'T SMILE: $50. Price includes shipping within the US; it also includes performance rights and permission to make sufficient copies of the score for cast members and accompanists for one season.




Downloadable PDF file of musical score: $25.

 

DVD of ROBIE, THE ROBOT WHO COULDN'T SMILE: $28. Price includes shipping within the US.



 

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