Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People.

In the final procession (if the players choose to have a procession), The Spirit of Patriotism should march first, and behind her should follow the other players in the order of their scenes.  This preserves the order of the epochs also, and makes an excellent color scheme—­the tawny yellows and reds of the Indian garb, the dark Puritan costumes, the pinks and blues of the Colonial period as against the more somber colors of the settler’s homespun, etc., etc.  In order to give such a procession its full effect it should not seem too stiff and premeditated.  Let some of the players march two and two, and then have some important character walking alone.  Sometimes it may be possible to have a group of three, or a tall young player with two smaller and younger players, following her.  Or again a line of Indians single file.  The properties should be carried in the procession to add to its effectiveness.  The canoe, as if it were still a matter of portage; the sedan chair of the Duchess of Bourbon; the Indian war-drum used in “Princess Pocahontas,” etc., etc.  Needless to say these properties are carried in the group and epoch in which they belong.  If the pageant is given on a very large scale which includes the Liberty Dance at the end, all those who took part in the dance should form the end of the procession.  There should be a space between them and the last of the settlers, as there is between the past and the present.  In this space should walk a figure symbolizing Hope and Joy—­a young girl in draperies of the palest green, and hair bound with a Greek fillet.  In her hands she carries a great laurel wreath.

When the Pageant of Patriots had its first production in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, the youthful players marched around the great oval outside which the audience sat, and having circled it once, marched off the scene.  If, however, the future producers of this pageant wish to reverse this order, it can easily be done, by having the march end in the final tableau.  It is merely a matter of choice.

In the Final Tableau The Spirit of Patriotism should stand on the stage in the middle foreground, center, and grouped about her should be the young folk of the various centuries.  This scene should be well mapped out and rehearsed beforehand, so that the ensemble will be splendidly significant and glowing in its effect, and there should be no clashes in the color scheme.  The notes of “America” should be sung with tremendous fervor and power.

In many cases the pageant will, of necessity, have to be rehearsed indoors.  Outdoor places to rehearse in are not always obtainable, nor weather always propitious; moreover, with young people the out-of-doors has too many distractions.  Armories or halls are excellent places to rehearse in; so are gymnasiums.  The episodes should be rehearsed separately.  Rehearsing in a small room is fatal.  It gives the youthful performers a tendency to huddle, from which they seldom

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Patriotic Plays and Pageants for Young People from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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