Texas's Fort Worth Academy has just posted a video from their recent production of The Enchanted Bookshop. It's only one scene, but it's one of my favorites--the scene where we first meet the bumbling smugglers Eddie and Fingers as well as the eternally tongue-twisted Officer Ketchum.
And this production includes one other twist. Margie, the lonely book lover who owns the shop, has been turned into a guy.
I think it works well--and shows just how flexible this play can be. Many of the famous book characters can be played by either gender--Robin Hood, for one, or the devious Fagin. Not to mention non-famous characters like the smugglers.
Some schools have even gone so far as to add other book characters to the cast.
If it works, I say go for it. But if you're a drama teacher and you want to make the most of what this play has to offer, don't stop there. Can you team up with other teachers at your school to promote the joy of reading?
Maybe the English teachers can have students read from some of the books mentioned in the play. Maybe the school librarian could launch a reading contest with prizes to be awarded at the intermission of your performance. Maybe the art teacher could have students design their own book covers--whether for real-live books or for books that only exist in their imaginations. Maybe the entire school could have a costume day, when students are encouraged to dress up as their favorite book characters.
When it comes to sharing a love of reading, the possibilities are endless.