CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 6. . . .November 7, 2008
Kenneth Oppel's Silverwing has sold more than 1.5 million copies around the world since it was published in 1997. It has become a modern classic novel, used in classrooms as a catalyst to discuss significant issues facing young people. Kim Selody has adapted this story to the stage in a creative and captivating way. Appeals protagonist, a runty Silverwing bat named Shade, is convinced that his missing father is not dead. He also believes that bats should not accept the owls' dictate which restricted bats from looking at the sun. His defiant nature sets in motion a series of events that imperils his colony and threatens his life. His brains, pluck and daring get him through great danger and save the day. The dialogue between the characters captures the story with great economy, yet the images and content are clear. Selody suggests using sound in different ways to create the illusion of flight, the owls and the fearsome Goth and Throbb. The actors can slap their chests to represent the flapping of bats' wings, music can set the atmosphere, and waving pieces of material can symbolize the power of the owls. Lighting and good staging can ease the transition between scenes to create an inexpensive but effective presentation of a daring quest story.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.