Hello from America!
A friend told me about your website just this past week and I have enjoyed looking at it enormously.
I grew up in England in a theatrical family and have lived over here for forty some years. I run a small arts center and three years ago a fellow Brit asked if we would ever consider doing a panto. I said sure why not, and being a writer I wrote a one hour script for Cinderella, using American idioms, jokes and songs, with many local topical jokes. We put it on over Thanksgiving weekend (late November) it sold out all four performances, the demand was so heavy that we brought it back during School Vacation week in February. Sold out three more performances. Obviously America was ready for this. Well, at least our small corner of the Hudson River Valley.
So last year we did our version of Snow White and the Seven Frawds (Dwarf spelled backwards,) because none of us were that short. The magic mirror was a character - a mirror image of the Queen and on roller skates. Again we did five performance in a row and sold out. Because we all have other jobs, and other lives, we couldn't organize to do it again. This year we are doing Puss In Boots and I have moved the script across the pond to our neck of the woods, and added an anti-pollution element, which is a very hot topic right now. I changed the Miller to a farmer, the sons to daughters, the emperor, empress and princess to rich landowner, trophy wife and eligible bachelor son. The ogre became a witch. This gave us three "dame" roles for our three dames.
We do it all, complete with audience participation and hissing and the walk down. But on a small scale of course. No orchestra, just a musical one person band. So, even though I have never heard of Pantos being done over here any where else. It is alive and well in Columbia County New York and we plan to go on doing them until we run out of stories to do, and then we'll just revive them.
Thank you for your wonderful website.
Sincerely, Judy Staber
This page was last updated 20th October 2002