From the Director
George and Martha are the BEST of friends. That means they support each others interests, go on picnics together, play instruments together, and get angry with each other. My son and I have always loved reading the stories about George and Martha because they get into silly arguments, but they learn to forgive each other. Friends can hurt each others feelings on purpose or by accident, but they are friends because they have a tue love of one another and can forgive.
I find these stories incredibly important to share with our children because it can be hard to be a good friend, you sometimes have to put the other person’s feelings before your own. George and Martha learn that friends should always tell each other the truth, some secrets can be happy surprises, and good friends just can’t stay cross for long. We have tried to stay true to Marshall’s charming illustrations and vignette story framework. We thought it led itself seamlessly to the vaudevillian style of theater. We are thrilled to be able to use The Rose Theater in the vein it was originally constructed 85 years ago, to house Vaudeville theater acts. We have had a wonderfully giddy time of creating George and Martha’s physical antics as well as their honest perseverance of friendship. We hope you glean as much from Marshall’s charming, honest, and silly stories as we have. Thank you for supporting The Rose and our staffs constant effort to bringing timeless, childhood relationship experiences to the stage.
Show Director Stephanie Jacobson
This show will be interpreted for the hearing impaired on Saturday, Mar. 9th at 2 pm.
The 7 pm show on Saturday, Mar. 9th is an autism-friendly performance.
Going to The Rose Guide
It’s almost time for our next production, “George and Martha: Tons of Fun”. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready. Before you go to the show, you might want to take a few moments to review this guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance.
The Story You Will See
George and Martha are best friends and they can’t help but have tons of fun wheever they are together. They watch movies, play music, share picnics, and exchange gifts. But when Martha ruins George’s painting and George invades Martha’s privacy by reading her diary, their jealous behavior and hurtful words put stress on their friendship.
George and Martha must learn to respect one another’s boundaries or they risk losing their friendship. Can they find a way to be honest yet forgiving with one another and stay friends?
The Characters You Will Meet
• George – A fun-loving, debonair hippo who plays the tuba and has huge dreams. He wants to be the first hippo to take flight! He is Martha’s best friend.
• Martha – A neat, practical, and some times bossy hippo who takes ballet, plays cello, tends her beloved garden, and loves to cook split pea soup. She is George’s best friend.
• Croc, Dog, and Pig – Friends of George and Martha who provide great commentary and entertainment as the hippos sort out their friendship!
Things to Know Before You Go
• George can be a bit raucous and sometimes does things that are not very nice to his friend, Martha. He plays practical jokes on her. He invades her privacy be peeking on her in the bath and trying to read her diary. Also, rather than confessing he doesn’t like Martha’s soup, he is rather wasteful and messy with it. You may want to talk as a family about George’s behaviors and its impact on those around him and his friendship with Martha.
• This show is staged in a “vaudeville” style, which is a type of theater that was very popular in the early 1900′s. A vaudeville show was like a “variety show” with lots of different performers: singers, actors, dancers, acrobats, and more. When The Rose Theater opened in the 1920′s, vaudeville shows were performed there. You might want to read about vaudeville so you can watch for the parts of the show that are staged in that style!
• In this production, the character of Martha is played by a male actor named Walter. You might want to discuss how it is fun to pretend to be someone different than yourself when acting.
Did You Know?
• The seven George and Martha books were written between 1972 and 1988 and were inspired by Edward Albee’s play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? In 2007 James Marshall was posthumously awarded the Laura Ingalls Wilder medal for his lasting contribution to literature for children.
Topics for Dinnertime Discussion
One of the best ways to enjoy a show is to talk about the story and the characters with others who attended. Below are some topics you may want to discuss.
Before the Show
• George and Martha show each other they care by exchanging gifts and supporting each other’s hobbies. What makes a good friend? Have you ever showed a friend you care? What did you do and how did you feel? What are some things you can do to show your family and friends that they are important to you?
• What is a practical joke? Have you ever played a joke or a prank on someone before? How did that person respond? Has anyone played a practical joke on you? How did you feel about it? When are practical jokes funny and when can they be taken too far?
After the Show
• George would like very much to fly. Martha tells him that he is a dreamer and that the world needs dreamers. What do you dream of doing? What steps will you take to accomplish your dream?
• Even though George and Martha are best friends, sometimes they keep secrets from each other. Do you think friends should have secrets? What is good about sharing secrets? What is not so good about secrets? What is the difference between secrecy and privacy?
• At the end of the play, George and Martha admit their faults and are able to stay friends. Do you think George and Martha learned a lesson about friendship? How do you think George and Martha will resolve their disagreement the next time they are angry with each other? What do you do when you have a disagreement with a friend?
• How did the costumes help to show the audience that the actors were portraying animal characters? Can you think of other ways to make animal costumes? Why do you think the costume designer decided to costume the show in this way?
Awesome Aftershow Activities
After your family enjoys the show, you might want to try these fun activities at home to extend the experience!
• Stage a Vaudeville Variety Show – Get together with your friends to stage a “vaudeville” variety show. Each performer can create her or his own act – sing a song, dance, juggle, perform magic tricks, or tell jokes! You can dress in funny clothes and make signs for each act. Invite your friends and family to attend! You can read more about vaudeville on the internet or in the book Vaudeville: The Birth of Show Business by Judy Alter.
• Create a Card – George and Martha love to write! Martha keeps a private journal, whereas George prefers to send letters to his friends. Write your own journal entry about your best friend. What are some things you like about this friend? When you are all done, fold a new piece of paper in half and make your friend a greeting card! Be sure to decorate the front, then on the inside tell your friend all the reasons you appreciate him or her.
• Grow a Green Garden – Martha has many interesting hobbies, including planting her own flowers. Ask an adult to take you to a nursery and buy some flowers or seeds. Be sure to take good care of your flowers by regularly watering them and giving them sun.
• Construct Your Own Clubhouse! – George builds a clubhouse in the forest. Be a set designer and create your own clubhouse! Ask for permission to use couch cushions, sheets, and other household items. What sort of things will you keep in your clubhouse? Whom would you like to invite to join your new club?
While at The Rose
• Stay for the Post-Show Q&A – Our actors end each performance with a 5-10 minute Q&A session conducted from the stage. The Q&A offers a wonderful opportunity or children to ask questions and learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and more!
• Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph – Select actors from the show will be available after the show to sign autographs. Meet them on the mezzanine outside the entrance to the balcony level seats.
• Grab a Class Brochure – If you like what you saw on the stage and think you would like to be a part of it, try taking a class at The Rose Theater. The Rose offers a wide variety of classes for every interest and experience level.