This is probably one of the few times Jerry Casper is hoping for a frosty reception for one of his plays.
Casper, director of theater at Rochester Community & Technical College, has written a new play, “Frostory.” The play will be presented in public performances Saturday and Oct. 31 and to area school groups Monday through Friday next week.
This is the seventh original play Casper has written for RCTC’s annual Young People’s Theatre production. “The first one went well; the teachers liked it,” Casper said.
That was “Rumpelstiltskin” 14 years ago, and it now has been published for use by other theaters. Whether “Frostory” will be equally as popular remains to be seen, but Casper has high hopes for the story, which he adapted from Nordic and Russian folk tales.
“I think kids will like it,” Casper said. “It’s a pretty show; it has lots of magic, multimedia, projections, entertaining visual elements. It’s comedy and drama. I think adults will get a kick out of it, too.”
In the play, Jack Frost is a young adult whose immaturity, combined with the mysterious dealings of a hooded stranger, are leading the world toward disaster. “Jack causes the next ice age,” Casper said.
While not a musical, the show does include original music composed by local actor/musician Leslie Haack.
Casper started writing original plays for young audiences in part to make the shows more affordable and to make the performances convenient, time-wise, for teachers who bring their classes to the plays. “I felt I could write a show that would be entertaining, good for kids and would fit their time period,” he said.
School groups from around the region attend the performances, which are twice daily to accommodate the demand. Attendance averages between 3,000 and 4,000 each year. The cast includes RCTC actors and some local high school students.
“It charges me up as a director to see the theater filled with young people,” Casper said. “For many of them, this will be their first theatrical experience.”
Given the frosty theme of the play, Saturday’s opening public performance will include an appearance by Randy Brock, KTTC-TV meteorologist.