Why The Three Musketeers?
It was the hats. If I am honest.
As I've said before, my inspiration often comes from one of three things. The novel or source of the adaptation, a joke (I've written whole shows for just one joke,) or a specific costume piece or prop.
For The Three Musketeers it was the feathered hats. Now, before you scoff, you have to admit... those are some fantastic hats.
Look at that feather. I bet you want to touch it, don't you?
Okay, really the hats were just the start…
I happened to have a fantastic group of boys coming up through my program. Actually they were leaving my program, growing up and moving on. Sigh. Truthfully, I wanted one last hurrah, or huzzah if it were, and I knew they would have a blast. (As would the girls, of course, villains, queens, and cancan girls abound. Who doesn’t want to dance the cancan?)
I also wanted to have a sword fighting show with actual stage combat. Stage combat is one of those skills that can truly set your students apart when they go on to high school or college theatre programs. I also wanted them to have the experience of learning stage combat. And hello?! Swords!!! Who doesn’t like to play with swords? (Get it. Play—with swords. Because it’s a play. I’m funny.)
Sidenote: While you can easily do the Three Musketeers with wooden swords if you have the resources to get metal stage combat swords, do. There is nothing quite like the sound of a real metal sword fight to bring home the swashbuckling flavor. While the majority of my musketeers were armed with dalrods, my leads all had stage combat metal swords. (By the way, be on the lookout for a wooden rapier DIY from me— they can look really fantastic if you do it right.)
Why should you perform The Three Musketeers?
Well, I might be biased on this one but here are the reasons I suggest The Three Musketeers be your next show:
Alexandre Dumas was sassy.
While I make some artistic departures (including the famous motto, nothing is sacred,) Monsieur Dumas has some fantastically sassy lines in The Three Musketeers. So much so that is should have been called The Three Sassypants. (I imagine that wouldn’t sell as well.)
There are a lot of parts— or multiple parts.
If you have read my philosophy you know that I prefer large cast productions— but if you only have so many students, the parts are spaced in a way that allows kids to have more than one part. Multiple parts= more lines for each student.
Did I mention the swords?
Seriously, did I mention the swords? While stage combat is hard work, and requires special instruction, it is always worth it. Always.
While the richness of the costumes is up to you and your budget, nothing says theatre like a costume drama. There is a sort of authentic experience to swashbuckling boots and corsets. I know I’ve said that one before. But if you are a theatre geek like me, you know exactly what I am talking about. (I bet you have one or both in your theatre past, don’t you? I bet some of you have one or both in your closet right now…. Or is that just me?)
And lastly, because I was right.
It’s a total blast.