New Play Workshop: THE THIEF LORD

11:05 AM
This Sunday at 7:00 pm is the New Play Workshop for next season's show THE THIEF LORD at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Tickets are just $5 at the door.

Here's some thoughts from our Artistic Director Jeff Frank on the show:

We just opened our last show of the season, HOW I BECAME A PIRATE, but we are already in the midst of working on our 2009/10 season. One of the shows I’m most excited about is the world premiere of James DeVita’s adaptation of THE THIEF LORD by Cornelia Funke. Her award-winning book is a mysterious adventure full of heart and a touch of magic, set amidst a place of wonder. Jim and I have had a great time working together once again to bring the novel to the stage. He recently completed the second draft, and now we’ll be working with actors from April 20-25 before sharing a reading of the play on the evening of the 26th. During the workshop process we get a chance to hear the play and get feedback from the actors. Based on that feedback, Jim re-writes and continues refining the play. The public reading gives us even more feedback. It is very helpful to hear how an audience reacts and gather their thoughts in a post-show talk-back.

Show synopsis:
Orphans Prosper and Bo flee to Venice, joining a group of children led by the mysterious "Thief Lord." Soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.

For me, the play is a grand adventure with a strong heart and a hint of magic and mystery. It is also very much about masks and identity. How we see ourselves, how others see us, the masks we wear, our dreams of who we will become, our dissatisfaction with who we are or how others perceive us, the search for our true identities. Haven’t we all at one time wanted to be someone else, or to be younger, or older, or wished for grander adventures and an escape from the mundane? Well, this novel provides all of that on a grand scale. From the beginning of the novel there is a sense of disguise and the importance of appearance. Victor the detective is a master of disguise with a new mustache to try out. The aunt and uncle will take on the young and adorable Bo, but certainly not the adolescent (and less cute) Prosper. The hideout – once a vibrant theater showing dreams on the screen – is now a place where the young people escape into their own dream world. The Thief Lord Scipio wears a literal mask in and effort to create a role for himself to escape the restrictive hand of his affluent father who sees him as a mere boy. All of the characters seem to have something to hide as they try to find their way. And the story itself has a hidden mystery – a tool that will magically allow people to change who they are.

Please join us for this sneak peek at next season’s THE THIEF LORD.


The Fire Dancer said...

Hi...I was amazed after searching the internet for information on a Thief Lord play...I was going to write an adaptation of the play for my high school, as the school play. I was wondering if there was anyway to purchase or rent a copy of the script for our use from James DeVita, or an agent. I feel that this would be an amazing book to act out in a play...thanks...

Mithra Ballesteros said...

Hello Fire Dancer... please email me at and we'll get you in touch with the right people.

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