To me, the opportunity to create some unique Traditions outside of the obvious is one of the keys to keeping the family connected throughout the years. One of our Traditions is to have a small family play every year. I preface this with the fact that we are all Adults now (at least chronologically), so getting everybody to “buy in” is sometimes a challenge – and that is where the facilitator (ME, in this case) has to step in to keep the Tradition going. I assure you, though, once the festivities have started everybody has a good time and we have created a special memory. This Tradition started out during a family vacation in Santa Barbara with one of those Mystery Dinner Themed box games that my daughter gave us for Christmas. We all sat around a table with our scripts and clues in hand and the CD queued up for directions and music background. Eyes were rolling and wandering, looking for an escape route I suspect, and body-language was straight-backed, arms-folded, teeth-clenched kind of resistance. Wow, this was going to be FUN! Undaunted, I started the CD and after the first scene, we had gotten the hang of it and really began to act! My Dad’s character was a Russian Spy and all of a sudden, this thick Russian accent came out of his mouth and we all (LOAO). That truly broke the ice and then all of us tried to out-do the other with accents and improvisations. At the end, we were laughing and wishing it hadn’t ended so fast.
The next year, I searched for a theme-related box kit and could not find one to my liking (or budget) and thought, “How hard could it be to write a play?” So, I did one with a Western theme and integrated some activities to stretch the time out and included COSTUMES and props. I highly recommend the costumes, as they bring up the enjoyment and hilarity factor exponentially and also make great photo ops and, trust me, you will want to remember these (some of ours are shown here: remurdermysterymugshots). The costumes can be home-made (think Halloween, on the cheap), as can the props (everyday household items, or things you buy at the 99-cent store). In writing the parts, I tried to imbed personality traits that resembled that family member to make that part more personal and identifiable. I have included that script as an attachment to this blog – feel free to use it and revise it to fit your group (note, it has some adult-like language and activities – but you can revise it accordingly if you have young ones). I also have attached another one from our trip to Big Bear Lake, CA that has an Indian Lore theme – as a keepsake from this one, we each created a glass jar with the nature items that we collected in preparation for the play. Once this year’s Pirate Theme play has been performed, I will post that file as well (but I don’t want to give away the secrets before the family performs them). Feel free to use any or all – but even more fun…create your own!
The Legend of Big Bear