People who live in the vivid imagination of Lois Lowry’s The Giver think everything is wonderful.
They don’t choose a profession because a committee assigns the perfect job. They don’t have to fall in love and get married because life-mates are selected, and children are supplied. Mountains have disappeared because they make travel difficult. No one worries about cold winters: no one has ever seen snow. In fact, nobody in this society has ever had to choose anything. No one has ever felt pain. Color is not a distraction: everything is gray, and no one has ever known anything else. All has been ideal. For the few who become disaffected or who may want to see another side of life, release is an option, but no one is sure what that means. Yet, in this community, one man with all of the memories has a vastly different view, and he’s about to have an apprentice named Jonas. They have the only books, the only true knowledge of what used to be real. As the young man begins to receive the memories, he learns the bitter, painful truth about the past and life, and the universal lies that everyone else has come to accept as reality. He cannot cope with the knowledge. What he does next is the heart-warming center of this story.
From the Newbery Award-winning book comes the stage adaptation by Eric Goble, The Giver, which carefully examines the true meaning of the adage “Be careful what you wish for.”
Ruben S. Ayala High School presents The Giver for two weekends this November. Ayala seniors Ambar Elder and Joshua Bloch direct nearly fifty cast and crew members in the 70-minute drama that will be performed without an intermission. The production team is using novel approaches to makeup and staging techniques. Under the guidance and efforts of junior Hannah Clark, all cast members will receive uni-race makeup applied to all visible skin surfaces with a cosmetic airbrush for student comfort and safety. Teacher and producer Dick Holk has helped his student crew learn to use a variety of hand and power tools to shape wood into a realistic bed that appears to be three very large books. The setting’s background is a wall-sized library that evolves from all gray through long-past memories to the full-color world that might be, IF . . .
The play is suitable for all ages, though some scenes may be too intense for children under the age of five. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or AyalaGiver@gmail.com for more information or to reserve tickets.
Dick Holk, Theatre Arts Teacher, Ayala High School