Budding playwright stages first drama success

A budding writer had a dream come true when a drama she wrote was a hit on the city stage.

Musical "Dorothy's Circus Rescue" is based on the story written by 3rd grader Li Yunduo.

A budding writer had a dream come true when a drama she wrote was a hit on the city stage.

Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School 3rd grader, Li Yunduo, wrote, starred and performed with fellow pupils after her mom decided one of her short stories was good enough for the stage.

“I have watched some musicals due to my mother's job, which inspired me to create one by myself,” Li told Shanghai Daily.

After reading the story, her mother, who once worked in a musical studio, decided to make it into a show. She sought help from some of her professional artist friends and involved Hong Kong musical director and drama educator William Yip to produce it.

A total of 30 pupils were selected and they spent 36 Friday afternoons rehearsing the play.

Li revealed it was all a learning process for her. She discovered a lot about musicals and made a lot of new friends. The downside was that she struggled with her weekend homework and had to sacrifice time for entertainment.

Director Yip was delighted to get involved and believes drama education is necessary for children as it promotes development.

“Children can learn how to develop their creative ideas and express themselves confidently when learning musical art,” he said. “It can also help them enhance their awareness and capability in group work.”

The drama tells a story about a girl Dorothy, who leaves home with a talking owl, one day after a quarrel with her mother, who has been forcing her to play the piano every day. They go to a circus to watch performance, but find that the animals are forced by the bosses to perform against their will. Dorothy then persuades her mother to join their efforts to rescue animals from the circus and return to the forest.

Musical "Dorothy's Circus Rescue"

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