What if a Dragon Photobombed Your Selfie?


Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

The students of Millikin’s very own School of Theatre and Dance used their musical talents to reach out to the youth of Decatur and surrounding communities, communicating the important life lesson of limiting technology usage. On the weekend of October 20 and 21, the original devised musical, “A Dragon Photobombed My Selfie,” set an example for hundreds of families about the importance of putting away the mobile devices and experiencing life without a lens.

As showtime drew closer, community members of all ages, including Millikin students, elementary students, parents and grandparents, filled the seats of the Albert Taylor Theatre located in Shilling Hall. Giggles, the rustling of seats, and snapshots of photos being taken, could be heard once the crowd was seated. As the show began, an essence quickly went missing. The giggles and movement continued but not a single cellular device was in sight.

The Dragon, Taylor, had also successfully photobombed the crowd’s selfies.

Characters Zoe and Gina are greeted by a twenty-one foot dragon, Taylor, who sends the girls on a rapid chase to retrieve Zoe’s eaten phone. With the help of newfound friend Olive, the girls play a game of hide-and-seek with the dragon, traveling through magical lands, to recover the eaten phone.

Along the way, the trio completes tasks in each land, with the help of the audience, while learning how to experience life without the help of their phones.

Freshman Ally Banks who plays the character of Zoe said, “Zoe is an eleven-year old girl who like many other kids her age, is very sucked into her phone. She is hanging out with her friends and they take a selfie and all of the sudden they realize a dragon photobombed it which sends them on this big adventure because her phone, unfortunately, gets dropped in the dragon’s mouth.”

As the play evolves, the cast, crew, and designers ensured the children would learn that living outside of a lens is more fulfilling than behind a screen. The integrating of interactive games and verbal audience interaction into the show, allows the audience to help teach the characters the very same lesson they will take away from the show having learned. “Throughout the show, Zoe realizes she doesn’t need her missing phone to have fun with her friends and that is exactly the point we want kids to take away from this musical,” said Banks.

Junior Jauhara Muhammad Bey, playing the role of Gina, Zoe’s friend, is most well-known for her ability to rap the trio out of their many sticky situations. Gina manages to keep her phone throughout the musical, which results in her having hardest time traveling through the lands while constantly refusing to live out the reminder to experience life without her phone, until she meets the dragon of course.

“I think I became Gina because of what I offer. This is a completely devised musical, meaning it was made completely from scratch. During rehearsal we started the process by simply playing games to come up with ideas and within the first five minutes, I wrote the raps. From there, I evolved into Gina who rapped her way through the lands,” said Muhammad Bey.

The process of creating a devised musical makes for a very authentically created cast-produced show.

Senior Kaitlyn Dixon, assistant stage manager, saw the show come to life from the very beginning, working behind the scenes, and every step of the way.

“Something so special about creating a devised piece is that every member of the cast is fully immersed in the design process. At the beginning of the creating process, we asked each person working on the show, whether they were a writer, actor, or part of the design team to submit their biggest fear entering the devised process and every person said they were most afraid of not having creative ideas. By the end of the show we had writers, songwriters, actors, dancers, musicians, and designers that all put forth ideas that created the final product,” said Dixon.

The creation of a children’s show from scratch was intimidating to all involved, as it was feared the creation process would lack creativity, but the process soon became a natural immersion of personalities that resulted in a hilarious and heartwarming show with a goal in mind. “Every single person faced their biggest fear and put forth creative ideas, and we ended up with one of the best children’s shows Millikin has seen,” said Dixon.

Be sure to glance up from your phone every now and again, for you never know when a dragon may be lurking in the shadows, ready to photobomb your selfie.