“To affect the quality of day, that is the highest of arts.”
– Henry David Thoreau
2017 is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau. In recognition of his birth, WoodSongs is offering a free download of materials educators can use in the classroom.
“Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau” is a simple-to-produce play consisting of two acts, one set and four characters. Thoreau is considered to be one of America’s most famous pencil makers, a literary giant and the forefather of the global green movement. The play is an animated conversation between Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson set during the final two days Thoreau spent in his cabin before leaving Walden Pond. The dialogue of the play is based on actual quotes from the writing and letters of Thoreau and Emerson.
Each act is about 25 minutes long, with a total performance time of 55 minutes that can be acted as a theater production, read as a script reading in class or watched as a DVD. WoodSongs in the Classroom is offering free lesson plans for middle school, high school and college level students that may be used for studies on writing, English, history, drama, Thoreau, Emerson and more. The “Walden” script is available in Spanish and French.
“Walden” also is available on video. Check your local PBS-TV listings this year for the high-definition television broadcast as performed in a theater in front of 1,000 patrons. KET will show “Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau” several times during the month of February. For those who would like to show the recording as a community or class film, it is available on DVD through WoodSongs.
Along with the classroom materials, WoodSongs is offering the script, director’s notes and poster templates for free to any community theater or school; the only requirement is that you notify WoodSongs that your school or organization is performing “Walden” along with the date and venue. WoodSongs allows schools to keep all proceeds from ticket sales.