Around the World
in 80 Days by Mark Brown
This phenomenal adaptation of the Jules Verne novel, by Mark Brown, was performed by Santa Cruz Parks & Rec Teen Theatre, in Santa Cruz, California back in 2015, one of our first teen productions. With 39 different characters performed by 12 actors, and several locations that are never revisited (as happens when one travels around the globe), this was certainly a challenge of staging as well as finances. With a set/prop/costume budget of $200, we set our backdrop of suitcases and trunks that turned into desks, ships, trains, steamers, and even elephants. We had our "players" who played the ensemble decked out as Victorian dock workers, who operated and created the world around us, while Aouda, Mr. Fogg, and Detective Fix stayed fixed-- Passepartout, Fogg's French servant, is the only character who can see both the players in their construction and yet go on the adventure with the fixed characters. Having just seen a phenomenal production of Henry V and Peter and the Starcatcher (which takes from Shakespeare's convention) earlier that year, we tacked on a moment at the beginning of the show to illustrate our constructed nature, placing Passepartout at the center with a train whistle that started the show.