Introducing... The Donkey Prince!
Trobár created a children's show based on the medieval Asinarius story, with songs and instrumental music insertions - and we'd love to bring it to children near you!!
We took it for a test drive (well, really 6 test drives!) in the Spring of 2022, supported in part by a Mini-Grant from Early Music America. Thanks Early Music America!
This coming Fall we're ready to perform it wherever there's an audience - classrooms, schools, afterschool programs, libraries, birthday parties - get in touch with us if you're interested and we'll be happy to see if we can accommodate you. Our fee for the show is also somewhat negotiable. In certain situations, we may be able to apply for grants to cover the cost. Don't let the fee keep you from reaching out.
Coloring pages designed by artist Meriem Bahri and colored by our young audience members
The Donkey Prince is a coming-of-age tale from the 13th c. adapted for today’s children, grades K-3. The story follows a young donkey as he explores his inner identity, discovers music, develops resilience, learns to play the harp, and gains the acceptance of others. Trobár members Allison Monroe and Elena Mullins perform the role of modern-day minstrels, singing, playing vielle and harp, and narrating. Woven throughout the story, 13-14th c. dance music sets an aural backdrop, while a recurring song (with melody drawn from the 12th c. and newly-written English text) provides a unifying thread. Children participate in the performance by singing the refrains of this song and through responsive actions to verbal cues. We frame the story with an introduction which explains the story's cultural milieu and encourages active listening, and a post-performance question-discussion time which draws out key concepts and gives space for childrens’ reactions. Through a Mini-Grant from Early Music America, we commissioned coloring pages from artist Meriem Bahri to accompany the story. We also purchased a mini harp which children can come up and play after the show, giving them a tactile musical experience.
The Donkey Prince introduces a variety of terms and concepts including harp, vielle, minstrel, refrains, oral transmission, and the medieval period itself. It also meets many benchmarks on the Reading Standards for Literature, Speaking and Listening Standards, World Languages and Cultures Standards, and Fine Arts - Drama and Music Standards, as stated in the Ohio Department of Education’s Learning Standards. These include being able to retell a story, locate it in time and place, identify major themes, compare cultural practices, make connections with other stories, sing music of various cultures, and explore musical instruments visually and aurally.