The book Frindle is about words and where they come from, a wise teacher who knew better, and one boy’s big idea. It is tender and funny and poignant and deeply satisfying, the kind of story you remember for a long, long time.
I loved the book, because it really made me think about the creative process and where ideas come from, about the importance of words in our lives and of the significance of having good teachers who inspire and challenge us to be greater than we, ourselves, thought we could be. When I set out to adapt the book into a play, I knew that I needed to translate all of this onto the stage, as well as to be sure that the heart of the book came through. It is a beautiful and touching story, and I wanted to do everything I could to bring it alive in a way that was true to the original intent of the author, the ingenious Andrew Clements.
You will be the judge as to whether or not we have achieved these lofty goals. I will say that it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with such an outstanding cast on such a brilliant book. Throughout the ETC rehearsal process, beginning on January 2nd and ending with our final dress on January 22nd, there were countless moments of laughter, friendship and discovery. After all, ETC exists because of people who believe in big ideas, just like Nick. The support from the cast and crew, Plymouth State University, Plymouth Elementary School, Friends of the Arts and the local community has been fantastic.
An extra special thanks to Andrew Clements, Simon and Schuster, and CJ Willingham for their willingness to allow us to make this journey. It is clearly one that we will all cherish. We hope you find it memorable as well.
Artistic Director, Co-Founder, ETC
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The details for putting on a major production like Frindle are countless. Added to that we have Arts Workshops for children running every day of the week, the Children’s Arts Festival, and the Integrated Arts Conference to plan for. Making magic happen is hard work, but once again, we’ve done it! There are so many who make all of this possible. I have learned from working for ETC that there’s more magic than what you see on stage. The real magic to me are all of the wonderful people I have had the pleasure to meet doing my end of the production. People here at Plymouth State, who I normally do not get the chance to interact with, community members and all of your beautiful children! Thanks to all of you for your encouragement, smiles, laughter, and hard work.
To give you an example of the magic I have experienced, I think it is magic that we have our Musical Director, Ken Roberts, here. We have Lisa Ladd and many others to thank for getting through the maze of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which usually takes 6 months to navigate!
I hope you will take some magic home with you and feel it throughout your lives, for we live in a truly magical community, full of people who are willing to give so much of themselves.
Michelle Ann Fistek,