It Takes A Rainbow is a one-act musical, with a duration of about 45 minutes.
On This Page
- Cast Requirements
- Cast List
- Set Requirements/Suggestions
- Production Photos
- Frogs/Lizards/Costume Suggestions
It Takes a Rainbow was written specifically for younger audiences and performers (4-9), although its meaning will be appreciated by any age group.
Casting is virtually gender neutral, and a diverse cast is encouraged.
With doubling, cast size is 13, as follows:
- Narrator – male or female
- King Upinde – male
- Queen Wamvua – female
- Rosetta, the red little lizard – male or female
- Oran, the orange little lizard – male or female
- Yolanda, the yellow little lizard – male or female
- Grenit, the green little lizard – male or female
- Blossom, the blue little lizard – male or female
- Indy, the indigo little lizard – male or female
- Viola, the purple little lizard – male or female
- *Scarlet, the red frog, Emerald, the green frog, and Lilac, the violet frog, three characters played by one actor, male or female.
- *Mango, the orange frog, and Aqua, the blue frog, two characters played by one actor, male or female
- *Mustard, the yellow frog, and Sapphire, the indigo frog, two characters played by one actor, male or female
Double casting is optional. The starred roles above are double cast, but at the production’s discretion may be played by different actors. Without double casting, the total number of actors needed is 17.
A large cast is encouraged. The score features choral numbers that benefit from a large cast, but all choral parts are sung in unison. (That is, there are no SATB parts, contrapuntal lines, or divided sections in the score.) If an entire 2nd Grade is to perform this musical, for instance, those who do not have lead parts can be encouraged to be part of the chorus.
Kids/adults/both? It is possible for the show to be performed entirely by children, or by adults, or a mix of the two. To get a sense of how adults and children maybe used together, please watch this video:
The set may be as simple or as complex as you like. The show requires only the representation of a safe home (the bonny brown bog) and the adventures of the colorful world. See photos below for some suggestions.
If available, lighting effects can be very helpful. Also, costume design, such as wearing all red shirts or all green shirts, can represent different aspects of the colorful world. The musical score also evokes many different lands.
Small details can be very suggestive. In past productions, the Narrator has changed (say) a hat, or eyewear. For instance, in “The World of Green” the Narrator might wear an Irish cap, then switch it out for some “cool shades” to represent the world of “You Gotta Sing the Blues.” During the “Violet-Purple Hoedown,” cast members can utilize cowboy hats and kerchiefs. Providing shakers to a few cast members during “When You’re Seein’ Red” is also effective. Simple choreography in different styles can assist in the sense of a scenery change, and of course, lighting is helpful, too.
At the end of the show, the lizards return home and return to the brown set. Ultimately, being able to suggest “home” and “abroad” and then “home again” is all that is needed, and your creative solutions are encouraged.
Photos from past productions
New York City Premiere, Midtown International Theatre Festival, August 2017. Sets by Steven M. Schweer. Costumes by Ashley Lynne James.
Lighting and Set Design by Steven M. Schweer, Bell & Barter Theatre
See the Bell & Barter Theatre website for more information about this fine regional theater.
click photos for a larger view
Set elements from student productions
Frogs and Lizards
How to represent a character who is a frog? A lizard? This is limited only by the director and design team’s imagination. As a jumping off point: past productions have used masks that are worn as a crown on the actor’s head. (Click photos below for a closer view.)
If you use a frog “face” template, you can encourage your young actors to design their own features, giving each actor a chance to express some individual personality.
Rehearsal and Performance Tools
Piano tracks with (and without) vocals can be provided for a nominal additional fee.