On the chilly night of Nov. 17, I used to be surrounded with the heat of Flying Treehouse’s sketch comedy “Throwback Present”: A world the place cupcakes can turn out to be cookies, pizza might be vengeful and annoying oranges can discover different annoying buddies. I discovered myself laughing at bright-colored units, loopy wigs, humorous tales and a fantasy actuality created by second graders, celebrating the group’s 10-year anniversary.
Flying Treehouse is an ensemble of actor-educators who train artistic writing to second graders at native elementary colleges, together with Oak Knoll Elementary, Escondido and EPACS. They then edit the tales written by the scholars and carry out them for the youngsters and the Stanford scholar physique. That includes a sketch from yearly of its existence, Thursday’s present displayed items from 2011 to the current.
Flying Treehouse started in 2011 as a category, DRAMA 190, pioneered by Dan Klein ’91 and Lisa Barker Ph.D. ’12. In 2012, DRAMA 190 transitioned from a Theater & Efficiency Research class to a membership.
Kids had essentially the most management over what occurred on stage throughout Thursday’s present, whereas Stanford college students had been vessels of their imaginations. But that’s what made the efficiency liberating: realizing that the tales had been imperfect and harmless allowed the viewers to not take something too significantly and giggle freely.
There was actually no higher solution to have a good time the “beginning” of Flying Treehouse than with “Shuubala,” the opening act that humorously chronicled the story of a person who turns into a striped fish after consuming a kingfish, solely to present beginning to a different kingfish. Full with extreme arm flailing and harmonious refrain music, this act was one to recollect. It had all of it: beginning, demise and all the pieces in between.
“Oh cookie, cookie, wherefore artwork thou cookie?” started Cupcake (Willy Chan ’26) within the second act, as he searched desperately for his love, Cookie (Zach Lo ’23). The gang erupted in laughter as Cookie sweetly replied, “Do you need to style my cookie?” Chan took a chunk and was instantly mesmerized, leaving to inform his dad that he was formally a cookie now. “It’s not a part,” he emphasised. Intelligent additions of younger grownup humor catered to the younger grownup viewers and allowed the present to be amusing even for college-age college students.
One other clear spotlight of the present was a section known as “Shorts,” a rapid-fire spherical of brief, word-for-word tales. The uncooked childishness, blunt endings and sudden plot twists led this section to be an viewers favourite.
“We spent three weeks going by means of all of the archives of lots of of tales which have been carried out all through the years,” the director Flora Troy ’23 stated, reflecting on the method of getting ready for the present.
Gesturing in direction of the various alumni within the crowd, she talked about that what made the present much more particular was the alumni group Flying Treehouse constructed. “Everybody who’s been by means of Flying Treehouse has one thing particular. They’re educators, storytellers and passionate folks, and it’s very nice to see that that hasn’t modified,” Troy stated.
The costumes and props, all designed by the members of the Flying Treehouse, had been brilliant, colourful and playful, echoing the infantile humor that the present highlights. Many acts emphasised the idea of group and friendship: values which might be an integral a part of the group. Sahithi Pingali ’22, a senior who has been a part of Flying Treehouse since freshman yr, stated that she had by no means recognized Stanford with out it and that she would deeply miss the group it had given her after she graduates.
“I simply need everybody to take house slightly little bit of pleasure,” stated Troy. “Particularly throughout Week 8, in direction of the top of the quarter, all people’s slightly bit weighed down and the present provides some childlike pleasure again into the world.”
From bloodthirsty rap battles to vengeful moldy pizza, the “Throwback Present” actually had all of it. Lighthearted, amusing and healthful, the Flying Treehouse reunion present transported the viewers into many magical realms and humorously introduced out the inside little one in all of us.
Editor’s Observe: This text is a assessment and contains subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.