By: Teresa Simone
Welcome to Piggsylvania! You may think you know the story of the “Three Little Pigs”, but it’s time to reconsider. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs! is based on the hit book by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. If you love to read, you may already know this book. Or maybe after you see the show, you will want to read it with your family. This book is narrated by Alexander T. Wolf (“You can call me Al”) who says, “I don’t know how this whole Big Bad Wolf thing got started, but it’s all wrong. Maybe it’s because of our diet. Hey it’s not my fault wolves eat cute little animals like bunnies and sheep and pigs. That’s just the way we are. If cheeseburgers were cute, folks would probably think you were Big and Bad, too.”
Now, Al the Wolf is on trial! He sits, the only wolf in a courtroom full of pigs. Is that fair? He is accused of huffing, puffing, blowing the three houses down… and devouring the pigs. But what really happened? The audience is the jury.
The play uses a familiar story that we all know and presents it from a different perspective: the villain’s. At FSU, we know that participating in theatre arts helps children build critical thinking skills and the ability to think creatively. Theatre also helps build empathy. This show provides good practice for children, who are developing these important skills, to be able to question why they believe things. Why is the Big Bad Wolf bad? Just because he is different, does that mean he is bad? Could we entertain another perspective? It encourages practices of actively identifying and empathizing. Of course, there is also discernment and judgement involved, because ultimately, the audience has to decide if the Big Bad Wolf deserves to be trusted. This involves analysis of his behavior and actions, and weighing evidence to decide… So what was it that the Big Bad Wolf really did?
Youth are not always empowered to express their opinions or to make decisions for themselves. For example, only adults can vote. But, by becoming the jury in this show, as the audience decides whether the Wolf is “Guilty” or “Not Guilty,” young people get a chance to exercise their skills in civic participation. So, after all the testimony has been presented, and you have weighed all the evidence, make lots of noise to cheer for either “Guilty” or “Not Guilty.” Then, when you go home, continue talking about why you made your choice. Maybe, for a fun game, try retelling other familiar stories from new perspectives.
Enjoy the show!