Monday, December 23, 2013

Leonardo's Journey

Andrew's third grade production was held the last day before Christmas break.  In third grade, they do a comprehensive unit of Leonardo Da Vinci.  They study the Renaissance Period, the skeletal system, astronomy, the Mona Lisa, mythology, and architecture.   Then the children collaborate to write a very UNIQUE script which includes these elements, and then create a production that mixes black light and puppetry.  The children pre-record the voices, then manipulate the puppets or lip sync as masked characters.  It is like nothing you have ever seen or would ever see anywhere else. Ever. And we were asked not to post a video of it to Youtube, so you probably never will.

A brief summary of the play.  Mona Lisa is captured by Pluto and Eris. (yes the planets).  They take her into outer space.

 A robot created by Leonardo, tells Leonardo that Pluto kidnapped Mona Lisa, so he goes on his own Odyssey to find her.

He thinks that the robot meant Pluto, the God of the Underworld, so he goes there first.  He must fight a three headed dog, pass the River of Styx, guarded by skeletons.

To pass the skeletons, he must name all of the bones in the body.

He successfully does so, and gets in a ferry to cross and meets Pluto and Persephone.  (Andrew was the ferry driver).

They tell him that he is at the wrong place and need to go to outer space to find Pluto.   Andrew was the prerecorded voice of Pluto, God of the Underworld.  His cousin, Alex, was the left arm of Pluto.

Leonardo heads to the Milky Way and runs into Mercury who has been given a love letter from Venus to deliver to Neptune.  Mercury gives the letter to Leonardo.  Along the way, he meets each planet in our solar system.  When he gets to a lonely and sad Neptune, he gives him the letter. Andrew acted as the masked planet Neptune, who was lovelorn for the planet Venus and waiting for a letter from her.  Leonardo delivered the letter.   This part allowed Andrew to fall on the ground, which he loved.

Eventually Leonardo catches up with Pluto and Eris.  They explain that they kidnapped Mona Lisa so that he would tell his astronomer friends to make them planets.  He rescues Mona Lisa, but on the way out of the Solar System, Pluto curses Mona Lisa. They pass through a black light presentation of the rotation of the planets around the sun.  Which was very cool!

When they return to Earth, she is zapped into the canvas and trapped there forever.  Which is why it is such a special painting.

Andrew is very serious when he performs.  They talk a lot about being professional at their school.  Andrew takes this to mean to be very serious.

We had a Cast party afterwards for our super stars!

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