What Under the Rainbow Is All About
Set in the bird sanctuary of Noah's Ark, “Under the Rainbow” opens with a “cruise ship” atmosphere, as the birds prepare to embark on what they think, at first, anyway, is an exciting journey. By the end of the upbeat Latin-themed opening number, 38 days have passed, and the birds are a little tired of cruising. The Counting Crows have lost count, the Mockingbird is getting on everyone's nerves, and no one has heard from the wise old owl. Even Red Robin Williams, the resident stand-up comic, finds his jokes falling flat.
A Bat, traumatized by being forced to live with the mammals (lions and tigers and bears!) then tries to sneak into the bird sanctuary. The Dove, a kind-hearted bird with dreams of being a great explorer, immediately befriends the Bat, but the Raven calls him a “freak.”
"Under the Rainbow" explores, through the magic of musical theatre, what it means to be different -- and how our differences make us all stronger and more beautiful, both individually and as a group. With appearances from Katy Parrot, the resident pop star, and Blue Jay Z, along with the rap stylings of the Angry Birds, these avian adventurers learn, by the time this story is over, that "The Sky is the Limit," and their adventure has just begun.
Why This Show Matters
This one-hour comedy musical takes a look at the events on Noah’s Ark from the birds’ perspective and how they react when a bat wants to fit in with them. Under The Rainbow's theme isn't just anti-bullying; as important as that message is, we want to celebrate differences.
Under the Rainbow features all original music and script produced by our own Tallahassee-based creative Making Light team. The cast includes kids with special needs working and learning alongside typically developing peers to study music, dance, and acting, as well as build sets, make costumes and perform the show.
Making Light Productions believes that an inclusive model in arts education is essential, not just for the kids with special needs but also their typical peers. A typical child who has worked side-by-side with another child with autism never has to be taught that this child brings a worthy contribution to the world. This child has been educated in tolerance and acceptance by immersion. Theatre, and this important show specifically, is the perfect way to do that.
Two major performance events are currently scheduled for "Under the Rainbow:" First, we will stage the musical for the 1,500 attendees at the Florida Theatre Conference's (FTC) Inclusion Festival on October 25, 2018, in Gainesville, Florida. This festival celebrates the inclusion in the arts of persons with special needs and reaches students and teachers throughout Florida.
Secondly, we will stage the musical in Tallahassee, at the phenomenal Theatre Tallahassee Mainstage for two nights, January 5 and 6, 2019, for over 500 attendees. In addition, we will offer to perform Under the Rainbow for elementary and middle schools, as well as after school programs, within commuting distance of Tallahassee. Finally, the show will be shared with our significant online audience (over 4,000 on Facebook alone) via our Vimeo channel.
After our own production of the show is complete in January, we will package Under the Rainbow and its anti-bullying message to share with other schools, theatre and production companies around the state and country, so that this important message about inclusion will take wing beyond our community.
Sponsors and Grantors
This project is sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida” (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes).