The Musical Adventures of Freddie the Frog®
A play with music for a child audience.
Based on the Freddie the Frog® book series.
Written by Sharon Burch ~ Illustrated by Tiffany Harris
Original compositions by Grant Wood and Jonathan White
Music arrangements/composition by Bryce Inman
70 minutes of theater, music, and fun!
This play with music is for a child audience ages 2-9.
Each show runs approximately 60-70 minutes and can be used with actors in grade 6 and above.
Your purchase of the script gives you the right to perform the show as many times as you would like within a one year period.
The Freddie the Frog® book series and puppet are known and loved by millions of children through their elementary music teacher. The stories are interactive, engaging children in learning music as they listen and read. The onstage adaptation brings the storybooks to life in a new medium, but continues to engage through interaction and entertaining education. For a full understanding of this unique play with music, experience reading the Freddie the Frog Books with a child at your side while listening to the dramatized audio recording.
Sample Sets & Lighting
A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR: Andrew Sinclair
The biggest lesson I learned from Freddie the Frog is to trust the material. It is that simple – trust the text. This play works with an audience – young and old – just as the original books continue to work for millions of budding musicians across the country. Kids will fall in love with Freddie and from there the possibilities are endless.
As Sharon Burch and I began to put this production together, my first instinct was to smooth out the edges of the script. I had major concerns about the transitions and I wanted this to feel more like a well-polished play. I felt the need to downplay Red Ant Narrators and I feared the ramifications of audience interaction. I began to question simple fundamentals: Would the audience get it? Would the moments with the Red Ants’ reviewing the notes/symbols of the story feel clunky in performance?
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Yes, the audiences get it.
Yes, the transitions work because they rely on the audience to move the story forward.
Yes, the audience needs the transitions to center themselves for the next story in the production.
And yes, the audiences of all age levels need the songs to become members of the story, rather than passive listeners. One of my fondest memories of this production was watching over 1,000 patrons – all of various age levels – rising as one to dance Eli’s Hokey Pokey or the Tempo Island Conga. They did this because they were a part of the story and they trusted the Red Ants enough to take them on this journey. It was in that moment that I realized my best decision was to do the same and to trust the text and the power of theatre. This play should not feel like other plays – it is its own beast. If I trusted the text, these audiences were not only entertained – they were now educated.
Please be warned that it is easy to get lost in the magnitude of this production. My best advice for directors and designers is to embrace simplicity and to allow your audience to fill in the gaps. Children are not only the most honest audience you will have, but also the most creative. If you tell the story, the audience will create the world. If Freddie sees it, they will see it too.
The Musical Adventures of Freddie the Frog is one of most successful plays for young audiences that I have encountered. It was a great challenge for my actors, technicians, designers and musicians. The response to our production was phenomenal and the power of music, theatre and audience participation left our audiences thirsty for more. I know that your company will receive the same reaction.
I leave you with three final missions when encountering this text:
Trust the text.
Trust the message.
Trust the power of Freddie.
If you can.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Sharon Burch
The Freddie the Frog book series and puppet are known and loved by millions of children through their elementary music teacher. The stories are interactive, engaging children in learning music as they listen and read. The onstage adaptation brings the storybooks to life in a new medium, but continues to engage through interaction and entertaining education. For a full understanding of this unique play with music, experience reading the Freddie the Frog Books with a child at your side while listening to the dramatized CD.
The transitions between scenes are intentionally designed to establish control of the house. In reading through the script, transitions sometimes seem abrupt, but in practice, they work, proven repeatedly with hundreds of children of all ages, in the classroom and on the stage. Establishing that the RED BRASS ARMY ANTS are in control of the house effectively manages fun interaction between a child audience and the characters.
He who leads movement, controls the house. The key to incorporating interaction while maintaining control, is to conduct, or lead, the movement. If the house leads (runaway clapping), the house controls. If the RED BRASS ARMY ANTS lead, everyone engages, interacts, and enjoys on stage and off.
Trust the script. It works.