South Coast Repertory's latest school-touring show, Bad Water Blues: A Coral Reef Mystery, will be unveiled Jan. 17-April 8, 2001, bringing kids a provocative message about preserving southern California's fragile sea waters.
The show, with book by Richard Hellesen and music by Michael Silversher, is directed by John-David Keller and is now available for booking by elementary schools (K-6). The show can be set up and ready to go in thirty minutes either inside the school or on school grounds. Running time is 45 minutes. In advance, schools receive a concise study guide to help teachers and students get the most out of attending the show. The fee is $410 plus travel surcharge for a single performance with discounts for back-to-back bookings.
Bad Water Blues begins with a problem at the Buena Vista Seashell Club. An underwater group called the Back Bay Boys are mysteriously losing their voices and need someone to find out why. Undersea detective Coral Reef comes to the rescue, traveling through various levels of the ocean, up to the beach through the drainage pipes and finally to the source of the problem.
As Hellesen researched the show for a year. Working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, he discovered disturbing evidence of marine pollution in southern California. "First there was the closure of Huntington Beach for several days," he said. "Then there was the problem with toxic waters off La Jolla. When the National Resources Defense Fund issued its annual report on the state of the beaches and waters, huge problems were revealed."
Hellesen and Silversher have collaborated on five Educational Touring Productions for the SCR. Keller is an SCR Resident Artist in his 29th season with the school program. He has directed all 21 seasons of A Christmas Carol at the theatre.The SCR Education Office can be reached at (714) 708-5549.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent