Ahoy, Mateys! This truly is summer fun for the whole family! The craziest, funniest bunch of singing and dancing pirates you’ve ever seen will welcome you to the Good Ship Jolly Roger at 7 pm each night, the last weekend in June — Thursday, Friday, and Saturday the 27th, 28th, and 29th.
Where? At the Global Spheres Center’s great new venue, the Shabbat Room. It’s on the east side of I-35E, just north of the Swisher Rd. exit, in Corinth, between Lewisville and Denton. See the Pirates’ Tale Tickets page for more detailed directions.
A Pirates’ Tale is a rollicking, action-packed show, with a boatload of lady pirates (!), swashbuckling gentlemen pirates, the famous “man in black,” kidnapped kids, kidnapped teachers, a lost treasure, an octopus named Bob, a sea monster, a Caribbean princess, lots of songs, lots of laughs, and lots of fun for any age!
Be sure to have plenty of room on your preferred night — go to our Pirates’ Tale Tickets page and make your reservations. We’ll have your tickets waiting for you! All payments at the door. Bring the family, bring your friends, bring your whole neighborhood!
Then, first come, first served for seats, so get there in plenty of time. The pirates can’t wait to see you!
Our two days of auditions for A Pirates’ Tale brought us far more than we dreamed. Our cast won’t be 20 strong, or 30 strong, but between 43 and 45 (we’re waiting on a couple of final confirmations) strong!! Wow! What a cast!
Thankfully, this script can handle a big cast, and still give every member a significant role and plenty of moments in the spotlight.
There are a few special things that set Family Friendly Productions apart from most (or all?) acting workshops, programs, production companies.
First of all, we write all of our own material. Our musical comedy productions are all-original, script and music.
Second, because the material is ours, we can do whatever we want with it. And our particular modus operandi is to sculpt the script for each of our productions to fit the cast at hand — not the other way around. So far, we have been able to take everyone who comes, and fit them into the spot in the script that fits them best — and even write special parts just for them. We’re just getting started in the public arena, having worked with private youth groups and homeschool co-op classes for the past couple of decades. This being only our second public production, if our cast calls grow in popularity, we’ll have to figure out how best to handle that situation. More than one cast might be a good solution, especially as it would provide a ready list of “understudies.” Because we take the risk of having a special part for every cast member, we can be “in a pickle,” as Will Shakespeare would say, if someone gets sick or has a family emergency. It’s something we’ll have to think about carefully.
Third, because we write our own material, we know our scripts are family friendly and our songs are singable — but cool! Some songs are fairly simple, and a lot are more sophisticated in their chords, rhythms, and melodies. But our actors and singers have always been able to catch onto the songs quickly, and end up singing them for weeks after the plays (according to them and their parents). Sometimes, a lot longer than weeks!
Fourth, we love to get experienced and talented actors and/or singers, but we also like to work with young actors and inexperienced actors, who want to give the stage a try. It’s very rewarding to see young people develop confidence and skill over time, after several plays, working their way up the ladder and taking on more challenging parts as they are ready.
Put that all together and we think it sets us apart in the arena of play-production opportunities.
So come join a cast in the future! And please come see our Pirates — you’ll have a rollicking good time!
“Hey, Dad. What is rain?”
Starting Over Again is FFP’s fresh and funny perspective on an ancient and mind-boggling story — Noah and the Ark.
Here are some moments from the recent upper-grade drama class production for our homeschool co-op program. The kids had a great time and did a fantastic job. You can see that the costumes are not exactly “historically correct”! That’s all part of the fun.
A number of the songs in this musical are drum-driven, so we brought in our own “Vic the Stick” Cleaver with his electronic drum set to provide the upbeat rhythms we needed, plus some great sound effects. Added to our regular keyboard and guitar, we were cookin’! Live music is always the best way to go if you can do it! And most groups either have, or can find, willing musicians.
Once we get the recording done for accompaniment and rehearsal tracks, we’ll get Starting Over Again uploaded to our Catalog!
A co-op of some 50 families draws a substantial audience, but there wasn’t any nervousness visible in this performance by our lower-grades drama class (elementary grades). The kids did a wonderful job, and they only get to rehearse once a week, for about 50 minutes, for only 10 weeks, with two quick dress rehearsals. Anyone who has ever put together a reasonably substantial show knows that’s insane. It is. But we do it anyway. And it works. The bar stays high, in spite of our limitations. And the kids reach for it!
A radio play is something of a “different animal.” It is a skill in itself. It requires the actor to hold a script and read from a script, always into a microphone, while acting for two audiences — the imaginary one, and the live one in front of them. And The Clump is a radio play within a play. It begins as a regular play, with no scripts, as the audience gets to know The Radio Kids as everyday kids who are local radio stars in 1940 America.
Our modern-day, cell-phone-using, television-watching, internet-using, elementary-school-level kids had to learn some things about American culture in 1940. It was fun! And they enlightened the audience with a little cultural literacy in an entertaining way. Nan may have her dad’s Popular Mechanics magazine with a story about the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the amazing new “telly-vision,” but, as Swell Sammy Sakowitz makes clear, “It’ll never replace radio!”
And, of course, with a radio play, you have to have sound effects (SFX)! Our SFX actor did an amazing job of playing 5 parts, as a Radio Kid who also played “Mom,” and as Bob the Bologna Man, and Bud the Baseball Slugger, while doing physical SFX with wood and pans and cans and other SFX with her voice into the microphone. She literally wore several hats (and coats).
This was the “world debut” of this brand-new play and it features two radio jingles (yes, we added one). It is perfect for elementary-school plays (public or private schools), but it could also easily be done by middle school, junior high, or senior high students. It would really be funny with adults dressing and acting as kids!
See our catalog for The Radio Kids in The Mystery of the Clump in the Night! And we’ll get the new jingle added quickly.
Did we find out what “the clump” is?! I think we have to wait for the next show!
We are excited to announce that the Global Spheres Center, located on the east side of I-35-E, just north of the Swisher exit (Corinth), has opened a new space called The Shabbat Room, which is a coffee-house-style café and entertainment venue with stage, sound, and lighting. It has ample room for an audience, with convenient restrooms and parking, all located on the east feeder road of I-35, just south of Denton and north of Lewisville.
And FFP is able to take advantage of this great new venue!
When you come for auditions, just follow our signs. The parking is on the right of the GSC facility (the former Boeing plant), easily accessed, and The Shabbat Room is right there, directly east of that parking lot, and west of the beautiful GSC garden. It’s easy to get to and easy to find. The address is 7801 I-35-E S, Corinth, 76202.
Get registered and get ready to have a great time and a valuable experience!
That’s a line from a hilarious song in FFP’s original romantic musical comedy, A Pirates’ Tale. Audition sign-ups are open and we can’t wait to line up a great cast!
Auditions are at the end of May and the entire acting and singing workshop and all the public performances will be in June! We’re packing it in to save everyone time and gas money during rehearsals and to get this special project completed early in the summer before a lot of vacations.
This is a rollicking tale, for sure, with lots of action, singing, a little dancing, a few swords, an octopus, a sea monster, women pirates (and, of course, guys, too) a fancy Frenchman, the “man in black,” kidnapped children, kidnapped schoolteachers, a little light “romance,” and a surprise ending!
You have to get in on all this fun! Sing? Dance? Act? Any or all of those? We want you! A beginner? That’s fine. We’ll teach you! An experienced veteran? We need you!
We have a fabulous new venue and we plan to advertise this all the way to Dallas! So click on the Auditions page and look at the Register page and get all the info and join us!
If you have any conflicts or questions, email us. We’ll work with you the best we can. We want everyone involved who wants to jump in and have a good time, and learn something to boot! And get some valuable experience.
This is a musical production that’s fun for the whole family! Tell your friends! Get them involved!
A-r-r-r-g, Matey! You don’t want to miss out on this!
We finally have all the Sam Shade songs “in the can”!
It has taken longer than we thought, and our battle to conquer our innovative delivery system (innovative for this industry!) has finally been won (we’re pretty sure). We have vocal tracks (for rehearsal, the “here’s how it goes” tracks) and instrumental accompaniment tracks for those who just aren’t able to muster their own musicians.
Here you see our wonderful sound engineer, Doug Raney, clowning a bit with Zach and “the girls.” From left to right, you see Shannon furthest from the camera, then Aly and Sable. This particular session featured Zach as Sam Shade with Aly in her role as Sylvia Songbird, together singing “the blues” in their version of It Looks Like Christmas. Later, the girls recorded the full version of It Looks Like Christmas, in the roles of Thelma Typefast, Kitty Kindly, and Sallie Socialite.
Zach took on the role of gangster Bugsy Bigtime and helped the girls record the swinging Out on the Town Tonight. Next came the girls doing an entertaining job on Broadway Wannabes. Then the girls “lamented” the bluesy, jazzy That Man of Mine.
Our younger “Down Yonder Gang” managed to lay down We’re Orphans in one take! Then they made remarkably quick work of Jesus is Christmas.
The grand finale is the upbeat The True Meaning of Christmas which brought all 7 girls together. With me on guitar and Susan Merritt on keyboard, poor Doug was outnumbered 9 to 1 in his little studio! But he just grinned and held up very well!
“Vic the Stick” Cleaver put the finishing touches on the recordings with a cool combo of his regular trap set and his electronic drums. Now we’re really bluesy and really swingin’!
Our good friend Victor Cleaver is a popular instructor of piano, guitar, drums, and percussion in the Denton, Texas, area. Find him at vcleaver (at) verizon.net (use the “at” sign).
Doug Raney is a really cool guitar teacher, songwriter, and performer in the Denton area. Find him at dougsguitar.com.
Now, to finally finish prepping the materials and get all three Sam Shades up and running!
We decided we just had to share several of the songs from A Shakespearean Tale!
So your director came up with some storyboard ideas and one of our cast members (my artsy photographer daughter) shot the video. We did a quick immersion-style, teach-ourselves tour of iMovie and produced our very first music videos.
We did A Mother’s Song and A Good Word or Two. See them on our FamilyFriendlyPro channel on YouTube. Type the name of the song followed by Family Friendly Productions in the search bar and they will pop up.
You’ll also notice that we now have a Video Tab and both videos are available there.
Everything is original — the songs and the video footage. Even the sunrise is out our back door and so is the horse — his name is Red. Isn’t he quite the star?
Go Down Yonder is next. It should be a lot fun. Look for it soon!
We have a lot of marketing ideas for A Shakespearean Tale! and they all need a CD recording of the seven-song score. So,…we gathered up the “Down Yonder” girls from our summer cast and headed for the recording studio of a great friend, singer/songwriter Doug Raney.
With remarkable optimism, we scheduled two afternoons of recording. Aly, Jillian, Mikayla, Kelsey, and Jessi are all fairly young (Aly is the oldest) and new to the discipline of performing for microphones and a digital recorder. “Oops, do it again,” (and again and again) is the order of most recording sessions, as anyone familiar with the tedious task is well aware.
However, these kids work so well together and have such great attitudes (and fun) that we captured three songs on our first day in a minimum of “takes” and finished the last four songs the next afternoon with remarkable efficiency. Even so, it’s a bit of a tense, testing, and tiring challenge for everyone, including the musicians, though our smiling sound man seemed to sail through it with ease. Actually, we all had fun and enjoyed both sessions.
Now we’re working on scheduling our fiddler and mandolin player (and possibly bass and snare), George Merritt, to lay down some final tracks for several songs, and our “singing mom,” Angela Geis, to do the lead track for “Mother’s Song.” Angie had three kids in the summer cast. Her wonderful voice was too tempting not to ask her to play the role of Granma Gertie Lear and provide the maturity we were looking for in the song dedicated to “every mother who gets her strength from above.”
When it’s finished, the CD will allow us to put song samples on the website, provide a rehearsal/demo CD for licensed scripts, and produce three planned YouTubes! We already have a children’s book version of A Shakespearean Tale! which awaits illustrations and publishing and which will include the CD in the back.
We want to thank the Selwyn College Preparatory School for helping us with this recording project, as well as Doug Raney. Besides teaching guitar, Doug is a local performer at Denton’s Banter and other venues. George is well-known in the area for his performing and for his banjo and guitar teaching. Catch him at HowtoBuyaBanjo.com.
As Will Surrey says, “Keep up with our blog!” We’ll keep you posted on all these projects.
We have to celebrate. We are on our way!! A brand new upstart company, we managed a successful world premiere of an all-original musical comedy this summer with the most delightful cast, we just licensed our first script (without even one script posted on our catalog) all the way from Texas to South Carolina, and we are recording our first CD! In addition, your crazy writer/director is now a qualified, full-fledged member of the Dramatists Guild of America!
Look out world! Here we come!
Thank you to all the wonderful people who have supported our efforts, and who continue to help us along the way. Our mission is to bring truly family friendly and fun material to groups around the world, large and small, pro and amateur, young and old(er!). That mission also includes encouraging as many as possible to make your own kind of music — live!
As Will Surrey (our lovable gas-station narrator from A Shakespearean Tale!) says, “Keep up with our blog!” and, “Come on along, you’re all welcome!”