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Study Guide | Theater

Legend Has It

Story
Welcome 

The people of the fantasy realm Jarð have been under the oppressive rule of the evil Haldor for too long, and now he is threatening to destroy the “world beyond the fourth wall.” Something must be done. According to a prophecy, the fate of the people rests in the hands of a young hero—a hero who must come from the audience!

The performance begins when an actor selects a Hero from the audience to come on stage. The Hero then chooses from among the assembled cast who will be their sidekick and who will be the villain during the performance. And so, the journey begins, a journey that includes making new friends, learning how to be brave and tell the truth, and learning to combine strength, courage, and magic in order to overcome obstacles.

In traditional theater a play is generated from a script that determines the character dialogue and the sequence of scenes in the story. What makes improvisational theater different, particularly when it comes to the story, is that the dialogue is created spontaneously by the actor/improviser as they respond to the unanticipated circumstances of the play. In Legend Has It, certain plot points of the play have been pre-determined. For example, Jaro is a place where magic is active, Jaro is under the control of the villain Lord Haldor, and mumplings are being captured against their will by Lord Haldor. How these plot points get communicated to the hero and how the play unfolds is solely based on the hero’s choices and the actor/improvisers responses to these choices. No performance of Legend Has It is ever the same because each hero creates a uniquely different story.

Generally, in traditional theater the roles of the play are cast and one actor is chosen to rehearse and perform that character in the performance. Another difference about Legend Has It is that the hero, determines which actors in the company play certain roles at the top of the show. What that means is that the improviser/actors of Legend Has It need to be prepared on any given performance to take on any character within the show.

“BAM Education study guides are supported by the Frederick Loewe Foundation.”