Revolt of the Beavers
Created by Directed by Shannon Twohy, Written by Kit Bix
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"The beavers are sad and we're for the beavers!" Directed by Shannon Twohy, Revolt of the Beavers is Kit Bix's original adaption of the controversial, pro-labor children's play by Oscar Saul and Louis Lantz produced by the Federal Theatre Project* in 1937. With It Can't Happen Here and One-Third of A Nation, Revolt of the Beavers was singled out by the Dies Commisson (the 1938 HUAC), as one of 28 FTP productions promoting "subversive" propaganda at "American taxpayers' expense."
Updated, topical, and meta-theatrical, this fringe-size retelling of the historically significant New Deal play introduces the core "fairy tale" with a depiction of Hallie Flanagan's testimony before the 1938 HUAC (the Dies Commission), drawing on original language from the transcripts. We are thereupon transported, with the two extravantly precocious 9-year-olds (Emily Gustafson, Zach Holmquist) as our guides, to the witty, enchanted realm of Beaverland where we meet a dithering beaver Professor (Meri Golden) and a scrappy, valiant organizer beaver named Oakleaf (Natalie Rae Wass) who has been exiled "to the periphery" by the wicked , wicked Chief of the Beavers (Julie Dafydd). We soon learn from the Professor that "Everyone in Beaverland is sad!" since the arrival of the Chief, a callous and exploitive employer who pays her poor worker beavers abysmal wages and works them almost to death at the great "industrial wheel"! As Oakleaf raises her flag and organizes her fellow beavers to demand their rights, Kim and Paulo and their new beaver friends learn about the power and potential of cooperative, collective resistanceto deeply entrenched structures of inequality and exploitation. "A fugue-like journey, but with serious overtones" (Drew Chappell), this fanciful, serio-comicalproletarian children's musical will appeal to revolutionaries from ages 12-99. "A storyabout the suffering of the poor, the oppressive rich - which is classic. It's all through history!" - Lou Lantz, co-author (with Oscar Saul) of the original Revolt of the Beavers. With original music and acapella musical arrangments by Shelly Domke.
"Drawing on the narrative strategies of Freudian dream theory, political allegory and the fairy tale, 'The Revolt of the Beavers' constructs for children an overarching narrative through which to read class and political issues, even as it teases adults with fantasized political and social implications." - Leslie Elaine Frost, "Dreaming America: Popular Front Ideals and Aesthetics in Children's Plays of the Federal Theatre Project.