|Photo by Kathy MacCulloch|
A Spider's Tale had its beginnings some years ago at a concert in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. While we were playing, something twitched above me, and before I knew it a spider had lowered itself from the stage lights onto my viola. I watched, helpless, as it jiggled on the D-string. Then it jumped down between the strings onto the belly of the instrument, and hopped over the side to safety. Phew!
The writer in me began thinking up all sorts of "what-ifs", and before long I began scribbling about Trixie Spider and her friends. The story had many incarnations before finding its home with Symphony Nova Scotia and Dalhousie Theatre.
All eight shows sold out to audiences of all ages. On opening night a weeping three-year-old had to be removed from the audience. I was busy onstage playing in the orchestra, so I just assumed she was tired, but later I was told she was bereft because she didn't want Brianna Bee to go away! It was a thrill to see the children at the school matinee performance on the edge of their seats during the chase scene, and having fun conducting with Maestro Mouse. I received a stack of fan letters from a Grade Three class in attendance; when I read that children wanted to play the viola, or to become an actor, or to write a play, I knew our job was done.
I was surprised and flattered to hear that the local children's bookstore had requests from customers who had seen the production and wanted to buy A Spider's Tale in book form. So far, it doesn't exist. But I remain optimistic that someday there will be a beautifully illustrated picturebook of A Spider's Tale, perhaps with an accompanying CD.