The Basque Things in Life
Resource Guide

This audience guide is intended to be a tool to use as a means to enrich your experience at The BiTSY Stage. Here you will find activities that will prepare you for our show as well as fun things to do and talk about once you’ve seen our production.

We hope this will deepen your understanding and enjoyment of theater in general.

Photo by Shannon McAndrews.

Pre-Show Questions/Activities

Preparing for your visit:

1. Have you ever been to a theater before? What can you expect? How is being at a theater different than watching a movie or a TV show? How does having live actors change the experience?

2. Do you watch a TV show the same way you would sit at a theater? How is it different? How is it the similar?

3. What do you think it means to be a good audience member?  What are some ways we can show our appreciation for the performers? How can we ensure that our behavior doesn’t disrupt anyone else’s enjoyment of the show?

4. What do you think a play is? How would you define it?  What things do you think you need to know/have in order to put on a play? 

Our Production

1. The Basque Things in life is an original tale inspired by Basque folklore.  What does it mean to be inspired by something?  What do you think it means when it applies to a play?  Have you ever been inspired by anything when creating art?  Art includes but is not limited to drawing, painting, sculpting, songwriting and singing, theater, dance, and poetry.  Think of a story you really like.  Now try to imagine a piece of art you could create that would be inspired by that story.  For example, there may be a song you absolutely love.  What would it look like it you created a painting based on how the story made you feel.  Or maybe there is a book you enjoy reading.  What would a dance based on a character in that book look like?  You are only limited by your own imagination.   

2. Our story was influenced by stories of the Basque people.  Have you ever heard of the Basque country before?  It’s okay if you haven’t – you are not alone.  It is a region between Spain and France.  Can you find it on a map?  What do you think their language is like?  It may surprise you to hear that it is nothing like Spanish or French.  It is a language unlike any other on this earth.  Why do you think that might be?  Scientists are still not sure of the answer to this question, so see if you and your family can come up with your own ideas about why it may be different. What do you think it’s like to live between two other countries while being part of them but also being separate and unique in your own ways? 

3. Our story is about Basque people who moved to Idaho to make a new life for themselves.  What are some reasons people leave their homes to make new ones?  Why do you think some people only move down the street from where they’ve always lived, and some people move all the way around the world? Can you think of any reason you would want to move to a new place?  What about a reason that would mean you’d need to move someplace different?  Do you think it would be difficult to do so? What would you be excited about? What parts would be scary?  

Photo by Shannon McAndrews.

Photo by Shannon McAndrews.

Post-Show Questions/Activities

1. Zoriona’s family struggles with what it means to be “American.”  What do you think it means?  Our country is unique in that it is made up of people from all over the world. What do you think make us all the same? What makes people different?  Ama finally realizes that they are neither “American” nor “Basque” but rather “Basque-American.”  Why does she come to that conclusion?  How do you define your own ethnicity?  Do you relate to your ancestors at all?  Are you connected through language?  Culture?  Religion? Customs?  

2. Izar and Naia find themselves in America feeling useless because they have no work.  Why do you think that is?  Do you agree that it’s important to have something to do in order to contribute?  Would you enjoy life if you never had anything you had to do?  How do you feel when you help someone?  Do you enjoy helping your family?  Your friends? Strangers?  What would life be like if you found you couldn’t be helpful anymore?  What about the other side of things?  What would life be like if you never had any help doing the things that needed to be done? How would your life be different if you always had to do everything for yourself?  Would you prefer never being useful or never having any help? Why?  Do you think you might change your mind after living one way for a while?

3. Ama quotes The Wizard of Ozat the end of the play when she says, “There’s no place like home.”  What do you think she means?  Do you agree? What defines “home” for you?  Is it a place?  Is it who you are with?  Both? Has your home ever changed?  Is there a difference between a house and a home? Can a person have more than one home? Can people feel at home in a place they do not live?  Where do you feel your home is?  Ask other members of your family and some friends how they define home.  How are your ideas similar?  Different?