Just a Matter of Time
An Equity Showcase
The Sage Theatre, NYC, January 18-31, 2007
Boothbay Playhouse, Boothbay, Maine, August 9-11, 2007
Book & Lyrics by Sandra Dutton
Music by Jack Kohl
Directed and Choreographed
by Susan Streater
Produced by Wayne Sheridan
"Lewis Carroll meets Dr. Seuss meets Salvador Dali meets Rene Magritte. Gads, what a feast of language and visuals."
Just a Matter of Time at the Boothbay Playhouse
2. Drowning in the Details
3. How Many Cows in Katmandu?
4. Be Bold But Beware
5. Ode to Salad
6. Pots of Cream & Caramel Dreams
7. Your Mind Has mind of Its Own
8. Thoughts That Surge and Beat
9. Everyone Said I Had Heart
10. For I'm Time, Yes I'm Time
A Synopsis of “Just a Matter of Time”
With fascinating wordplay and the underpinnings of science, Just a Matter of Time illustrates a world in which time is no longer free, and creatures are forced to find, make, or buy their own.
Meg sits in a gazebo in her grandmother's garden memorizing the parts of a stringbean. "You know, Meg," says her grandmother, "you could learn a lot more if you'd help me in the garden. Look at this, isn't it lovely?" And she holds out a real iris.
"But irises aren't on the test," says Meg.
“I do believe you’ve lost your curiosity,” says her grandmother.
Clouds block the sun and Meg becomes dizzy. She overhears someone talking about a maze and says aloud to herself, “Mazes are easy.” Suddenly the garden is transformed and Meg finds herself standing below a tower that once held a large clock. “Time’s been beaten in a boxing match by the Lop-Eared Rabbit, and he’s gone into hiding,”says Time’s Keeper. “You must find him. We’re all desperate. You see, we’ve had no nights for days and days.” Meg, confused, realizes that Time’s Keeper and all animals in a Brass Band are depending on her to find Time.
But where should she begin? If Time is a creature, what does he look like? Did he leave footprints? In her search, Meg meets the Rhymester (once a celebrated poet) who’s in hiding because “poets beat time,” which is no longer allowed; the Pig Who Stole Time—some mice were “passing the time of day” and he took it; the Sheep Who Lost Her Mind (she’s crawling through the fog looking for it)—“It’s brown, about the size of a potato, and it doesn’t like fog”; the Walrus Who Sells Time, “creamed seconds, pickled minutes, and hours you can spread with a knife”; and many other strange creatures, who have no idea where Time might be but are desperate for her to find him, and who inadvertently lead Meg to rediscovering her own curiosity.
Educational value of this play:
1. Plays with the principles of quantum mechanics and relativity: “We ran so fast we made an hour last 75 days!” said the Pig Who Stole Time to Meg.
2. Illustrates the fun of wordplay, with poems, riddles, and puns throughout:
I slug it where the accent lies,
I love alliteration.
Trips and teasers, tags and tangos
Strung with syncopation.
A verse from the song by The Rhymester
3. Shows how a child who is bogged down in rote memorization becomes excited once more about following her own curiosity and asking questions:
I have so many questions. So much I want to know. So many things to think about, So much I want to grow.
There are 16 characters, but the play can easily be done by 8 actors.
Meg, an 11-year-old girl
Gran, Meg's grandmother
a Beaver (Time's Keeper)
a Goose (the Mayor)
the Brass Band--three pigs in fire hats
the Walrus, a shopkeeper
the Rhymester (a Mole)
the Pig Who's Stolen Time
the Sheep Who's Lost Her Mind
the River Rat
the Lop-Eared Rabbit
the Lop-Eared Rabbit's Shadow