The Necromancer’s Stone
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.
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?
1. The Necromancer’s Stone is an original tale inspired by the people and culture of New Orleans. 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 if you created a painting based on how the song 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 in particular by the story of Marie Laveau. Have you ever heard of the her before? It’s okay if you haven’t – you are not alone. She was a well-known historical figure in New Orleans and is still revered even in death. What are some reasons some people’s stories last and become very well-known and others don’t? Is it possible to be well-known to some people and not others? Why do you think that is or isn’t true? Can you think of someone’s story that you are very familiar with? Why do you know about that person? Is it always a good thing to be well-known? Why or why not? Do you hope people will remember you long after you are gone? What would you like them to still be saying about you?
3. Our story is about Mason, a young man who goes to Marie Laveau for help when his uncle goes missing. Why do people go to others when they have problems? Can you think of a reason he may have gone to someone he didn’t know personally and not someone in his family? Is there a time you have gone to another person when you needed help with an issue? Have you gone to someone who is not family? Why did you make that choice? Has anyone ever come to you for help with a problem? How did you respond? Why do some people help others for nothing while others expect some kind of payment in return? Ask an adult in your life to share a story about when they needed help.
1. Madame Laveau recognized the Necromancer’s Stone when she first examined the contents of Mason’s pockets. How do you think she knew what it truly was? Elijah also mentions later that he knew, as soon as he saw it, what it was. Why do you think Mason couldn’t tell? Do you think it has anything to do with age and experience or is it something else? Is there anything you can think of that you could recognize value in before another person could? What are some reasons one person can see worth where another can’t? Do you think being able to see worth extends to humans? In other words, are there folks who can see the good in others even when other folks don’t? What do you think makes someone or something valuable? Do you think different people define value in different ways? How about you? What or who is valuable to you?
2. Mason’s Uncle Elijah tells him, “I have all the things I need: a roof over my head and clothes on my back. Food for my table and people who love me.” Do you think he believes this? What do you think youneed? Do different people need different things? Why do you think we don’t all place the same value on the things we have? What do you think you could not live without? Who do you think you could not live without? Do you think those things will change over time? Why? What do you believe leads people to place more importance on one thing over another? Ask a family member or friend to tell you what they feel is most important in their life. Share yours and see if you have any similarities or differences. Discuss them.
3. At the end of our story, Madame Laveau and her doll talk about traveling to Paris. What kind of adventures do you think they would have there? Given that the Voodoo culture is not something widely seen in France, how do you think people would react to them? Create your own version of what happens to them in the City of Lights. You could draw or paint a picture, write a story, perform a play, or sing a song about it. What do the other people you came to see the show with think happens next for the pair? You could even work together to tell a story – each of you telling a sentence at a time until you have a new tale starring them.