Writer’s Nook – Student Author of the Week

The West Branch School will present “The Not-So-Grim Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” Feb. 14-16 at the Community Theater League.

The play will be performed by students in grades 3 through 6 and is a yearly tradition for the school.

The following stories, written by the student performers, tell different aspects of putting on the play.

Playbill and Poster


When putting on a play, there’s more than what you see on the stage. As an example, parents and teachers have to design the playbill and the poster. They have to decide what they want the artwork to be.

Also, every kid has to write a short autobiography about them self and draw several line drawings that might be placed in the playbill. Plus, in the playbill it will show who every character is in the play.

Also, the sponsors, patrons and volunteers are listed in the playbill. That’s only several of the things that make this play possible, but you can learn more from my classmates!



Volunteers are an important part of the West Branch School play. Teachers, parents and alumni help with costumes, set, backstage, artwork and refreshments. For costumes Denise, Brianne and Sarina help, along with other parents, to find or create the costumes for each character.

With the set, Scott Palmer helps design and create it. Some other aspects that parents do are, find local businesses to sponsor us, organize refreshments, print playbills, provide ushering, plan ticketing, help us learn our lines, and much more. We’d like to thank everyone who volunteered to make this play possible. Come see our play at CTL!

Character Voices


In our play, everyone was assigned a part. Right after the actors learn their lines, they have to work on how to say their lines. Well, in our play, a few people have to use a type of accent. For example, I’m the witch and I have to use a low scratchy voice to sound like a creepy old woman.

Also Gabriel, who plays the wolf, has to do a deep frightening voice, almost like a growl, to sound like the Big Bad Wolf. Even all our seven dwarfs have to use some weird and silly voices to match their character’s personality. For example, Captain, who is played by Marshall, has to do a pirate voice to sound like a sea captain.

Well, hopefully you will get to see our play, “The Not so Grimm Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”



When putting on a play, there’s always a lot to do, and one of the aspects is props. There are lots of different props in all of our plays. We make a lot of our props, but sometimes we borrow them, get them from parents, and sometimes we buy them.

Now I will tell you the different props found in the Upstairs West Branch play this year. There are some pick axes for the dwarfs and an axe for the huntsman. The dwarfs’ cottage will also have dishes and silverware.

So those are the props. (I hope I haven’t given too much away.) Now you probably know a lot about the props.



The Community Theater League is where the play takes place. One of the biggest challenges is the set, but West Branch School has help from Scott Palmer.

He is really experienced with designing sets. First, he meets with Erica and Steve about the set of the play. Scott Palmer, Erica and Steve design the set of the play. Scott Palmer, along with parents, build the set.

Thank you everyone for helping with the play. Please come to the play, it really helps the school.

Sponsors and Patrons


Putting on even one play costs a lot of money. This particular play has many sponsors and patrons that donate money. Some of our sponsors are the Bullfrog Brewery, Healthy Touch Day Spa, and many others.

For West Branch School putting on a play is normal. West Branch School does at least one major play each year which is performed marvelously by the upstairs children. Some other sponsors are the Animal Hospital, 33 East and Comfort Keepers.

Please ask your boss to make your company a sponsor. Anyone can be a patron, including you!

Play Plot


Hello there ladies and gentleman, my name is Cooper. I am 10 years old. I go to West Branch School, and this year we are going to put on a play called “The Not-So- Grimm Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

This play is a parody of “Snow White And the Seven Dwarfs.” The real creators of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” are Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm. The real story of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” is a lot more grim! It happens to be that I play the character of Wilhelm Grimm in our play.

Now I will tell you about the play. So, it all starts when Snow White’s mother dies and an evil woman takes her place and thinks she is the fairest in the land, in other words, she is very vain. Then Snow White takes her place as the fairest in the land.

The evil queen gets mad and tries to kill her. Will Snow White make it out alive and defeat the evil queen?

Come to the Community Theater League to watch the play. Anyone under the age of 12 is free if accompanied by an adult.

Learning Our Lines


Hello, I went around my school asking friends if it is hard to learn their lines for our play, “The Not-So-Grimm Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Here are some of the cast members and what they said, including me.

First, I will start with Snow White, played by Ella Linhardt. Ella said she had no trouble, and her favorite line is, “Why, you aren’t children, you’re little men.”

“I am proud of myself that I got the main part in our play,” Linhardt said.

Next I talked with some of the dwarfs. First, there is Spiffy, played by Duncan Larson.

Duncan said, “It was hard at first, but I got the hang of it.” He said his favorite line is, “I didn’t break no window.”

Duncan is happy to be in his first upstairs play and is happy to be with all his friends.

Then there is Giggle Toes, played by Indigo Koch. Indigo said he had no trouble learning his lines and his favorite line is his first one where Giggle Toes tells a really great joke.

Next, I talked with the queen and her spirits. I interviewed Spirit Two, played by Phaedra Bower. Phaedra said she had a little trouble and her favorite line is Shakespeare’s famous spell from Macbeth “Double, double, toil and trouble.”

The Witch, played by Emily Bertin, is a funny but spooky character. Emily said, “It is a little hard learning to speak with my witch voice.” Her favorite line is, “Sleep my darling, sleep sleep ha ha!”

The Hunter or Huntsman, played by Sage Koch, is a funny character that I get to be on stage with. Sage said he had a little trouble, and his favorite line, “That’s right, you’re gonna get it,” is in a scene with Snow White.

One of our added charters is Wilhelm Grimm, played by Cooper Larson. Cooper said he had some trouble learning his lines. His favorite line is, “Oh, this should be a Wunderbar!” Cooper said his German accent is very hard to do.

Now for the voice-over, played by our teacher Steve Hulslander. Steve said that he had no trouble because he records it so he does not have to memorize it. Steve’s favorite line is his first line in the play about the Queen. He said, “as the voice over I can help the audience to understand the story.”

Last, but not least, the sarcastic and funny Mirror, played by me, who is terribly frightened of the Queen. I did not have much trouble learning my lines, but it is difficult to get the right tone for my lines.

My favorite line is when I sing, “You’re so vain” to the Queen, played by Abigail Welch.

I am a little worried about being in my first upstairs play, but I know my friends are there for me.



The authors are my awesome teachers Erica and Steve. The play is an adapted version of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” A couple of the characters have complicated lines. They made this story into a comedy. They are always changing the script. It took about three weeks to write it.

Location of the Play

By SAGE KOCH, age 10

One of the cool things about West Branch School is that we get the opportunity to put on a play at the Community Theater League. The play is “The Not-So-Grimm Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

If you would like to attend, it is free on Feb. 14 at 10:30 a.m. There is a cost for tickets on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. This is a great theater and it is good for kids and adults. It is not every day elementary school kids get to put a play on, so please come and see it.



This is information about costumes for the “Not-So-Grimm Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”

Some of the costumes are handmade or purchased. Depending on the character, it might need to be altered. Everyone will have one or two costumes. If you have two parts, you will need to change into your other costume. There will be adults to help you put on your costumes.

You change into your costumes backstage. Some costumes like the prince might have accessories with their costume.

For example, the spirits will have an evil costume. The dwarfs will have cute costumes. So, come to our play to see our magnificent and beautiful costumes.



One of the first things that needs to be done when putting on a play is auditions. An example of a type of audition is trying out for a soccer team. We do it a different way. First we read the script, then we decide the characters we would like to be and write them on a notecard.

Then we reread the script again and Erica and Steve make sure we get a chance to read for each part.

Then Erica and Steve sit down and try to give everyone a part that they want, but in the end, they choose what is best for the person and the play. You can come to the play if you want to, and we would like it if you came.

Lights/Tech for Play


The play is a unique experience. I have seen upstairs’ plays, but now I’m in one. It will be enchanting, exciting and downright fun! Today I’m talking about lights and tech. This means technology things having to do with our play.

For example, when the queen turns into the witch, there will be haunting music, lights and artificial smoke. This illusion will be created by using two people to play the witch and the queen. The lights are important because we need to see the characters when they’re acting.

Another illusion is we’ll use different lighting for each set or scene. Sounds are important too because we need to convey the mood whether it’s happy or dark.

For one of our scenes there will be forest sounds, like tiger and bear growls and maybe birds and bugs. We will have voice-overs. That means when people talk it’s actually a recorded voice. This is why lights and tech are so important for our play.



At West Branch School, we take lots of time rehearsing. We can rehearse on our free time or the time that we take every day to rehearse.

This is how it works. Steve (the teacher) calls some kids to a certain area to practice the play. When he is finished practicing going over lines, he sends those kids where everybody else is working to send some other kids to the certain area to practice. Then when it’s the end of school, we can clean up and go home. That is how we rehearse.

How it Feels to be in My First Upstairs Play


I’m really lucky I’m in this play, and I’m kind of nervous to be in my first upstairs play. It’s challenging to learn all my lines, my cues and blocking. I’ve been in four or five plays before and some of those plays are “Vacation to Mars,” “Coyote Steals the Summer” and “Escape.”

I’m looking forward to being Spiffy in the play. He’s probably my favorite character. I hope you enjoy the tale of “The Not-So-Grimm Version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.”



One of the biggest parts is the characters in a play. One character is Snow White. In our play she is goofy and funny. One of my other favorite characters is the mirror. She is outgoing, funny and sarcastic. That is a little bit about some of our characters.

The other characters I like are the seven dwarfs. They all have very big personalities. One of them is very tired and one says big words a lot. I think my favorite dwarf is Snores-a-Lot because it’s funny when he snores.

Our play is very different from the original; you should definitely come to the play. It is going to be awesome.