Silent Princess 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.

Eric James and Rachel Seiger in The Silent Princess

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 similar?

3. 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 Silent Princess is an adaptation of a Turkish folk tale. What is an adaptation? Can you name an adaptation of something you’ve seen? Did you know that many Disney cartoons are adaptations of very old stories? Why do you think people would adapt stories? If you could adapt a story you already know, what story would you choose? How would you adapt it? Play? Movie? TV Show? Book? Describe how you would tell the story in your own way.

2. Our story takes place in the country of Tukey (which the bird was named after, by the way). Do you know anything about Turkey? Can you find it on a map? Turkey is often referred to as “The Cradle of Civilization.” What do you think that means? Many things that we use and encounter every single day originally came from Turkey. Do some research and see if you can find out some things that originated in the country that surprise you. For example, would you expect that coffee first came from Turkey?

3. The majority of the country is Muslim and observes many beautiful customs as part of their religion. One of them is welcoming strangers into their home like family and feeding them elaborate meals. Why do you think food plays such an important role? Have you ever had Turkish food? Go online with a family member and research a traditional Turkish meal. See if you can find a recipe to make and try as a family. Perhaps you can try several and consider inviting guests over to share the meal with you.

Eric James and Zach Brown in The Silent Princess

Patti Murtha in The Silent Princess

Post-Show Questions/Activities

1. The Prince starts off being quite mean to the old woman. He repeatedly knocks her water pitcher out of her hand with his ball. Have you ever done anything mean to someone else? Why do you think people do such things? The Prince changed over the course of our story and the next time he met an old woman and she dropped her pitcher he ran to help her pick it up without a second thought. What do you think happened to him to make him change how he dealt with people? Have you ever changed how you treated someone? What made you change your behavior? Has anyone ever treated you badly? How did it make you feel? Do you take those feelings into consideration when you deal with others?

2. While the Prince is traveling with the Lala he tells him, “No road is long with good company.” What do you think this means? Do you agree? How can having people along with you when something seems long or difficult help you feel better? It is said time is relative, meaning it can feel like it goes by at different speeds depending on what you are doing. Does an hour at the amusement park feel the same as an hour in a boring class? Why do you think this is?

3. The Princess remains silent for years waiting for someone to come along worthy of her time. What do you think life would be like if you were silent all the time? Other than speaking words, how do we express ourselves? Do you think you would have a difficult time being quiet for so long? What if it was for something you considered very important? What would mean enough to you that you would give up speaking for it? Try going an hour or two without talking. Perhaps you could spend a day with your family or friends and not say anything. See how your relationship with people changes when you don’t speak. How are things different? Do you learn anything by listening and not talking?

4. The Prince learns that he has to love himself before he can love someone else. What does that mean to you? Do you agree with that idea? Is it possible to love yourself too much? How can you find the balance between treating yourself well and treating others well? There is also a belief that others cannot love you if you don’t love yourself. How are those two ideas different? How are they similar? Think of people in your life who are confident and care for themselves. Are they easy to like? What makes them likeable or not likeable?

5. In our version of The Silent Princess we had our male actors play female characters. For many years in many places (including Shakespeare’s time) women were not allowed to be on stage. Do you think having men play those parts made them different than if women had played them? Pick a character from a story you like that is the opposite gender than the one with which you identify. Pretend you have to act him/her in a play. How would you costume yourself? How would you walk? Talk? Write a scene for yourself and practice taking on that role.