Come on up to the attic
Come up if you dare
Climb up the rickety ladder—
Come up and see what’s there…
Novelist Ben H. Winters turns his talents to the world of poetry for children, bringing the fear factor to this collection of thirty spooktastic rhyming stories about witches, zombies, vampires and more. Featuring eerie illustrations by Adam F. Watkins, this book is perfect for nights around the campfire and slumber party ghost stories. Be sure to keep a flashlight close!
There has been a shocking crime at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School. In a glass case in the front hall, a trophy—the trophy, the first trophy ever won in the school’s lackluster competitive history—has been stolen.
Principal Van Vreeland has canceled everything fun until the trophy is back, including the eighth graders’ long-awaited, once-in-a-lifetime field trip to Taproot Valley. Rock climbing, ropes courses, ecology hikes, s’mores . . . all gone!
Luckily, Bethesda Fielding is on the case.
Ms. Finkleman is just our boring old music teacher. Or is she?
It all starts with a Special Project in Mr. Melville’s Social Studies class: Solve a mystery in your own life. For seventh grader Bethesda Fielding, one mystery is too tempting to ignore: Ms. Finkleman.
Bethesda is convinced that her mousy Music Fundamentals teacher is hiding a secret life, and she’s determined to find out what it is. But no one is prepared for what she learns. Ms. Finkleman used to be . . . a rock star?
Uncle Pirate (Samuel French)
Music and lyrics by Drew Fornarola; libretto by Ben H. Winters. Based on the book by Doug Rees
With help from Uncle Pirate and his faithful talking penguin, maybe, just maybe, Wilson can survive the fourth grade. Wilson is just your average kid. Then one day he finds out his uncle is a pirate… like, a REAL pirate! Grab yer eye patches and pirate hats, mateys! The adventure begins now!
“At heart Uncle Pirate proves more of a Boy Scout than a buccaneer, but that won’t distress theatergoers under 12, this diverting and often funny musical’s ideal audience… Theatergoers at a recent performance particularly enjoyed a classroom duel in which Uncle Pirate bravely wields first a pointer, then a ruler and finally a book. Education, it seems, really is the way to win life’s battles.” –The New York Times
“There’s a talking penguin and plenty of ‘arrrs!’ for the young’uns, while elementary schoolers and their parents will appreciate the sarcastic dialogue and clever songs… a whimsical adaptation of the eponymous kids book is Jolly Roger fun.” –Time Out New York
Uncle Pirate was first presented by Vital Theater Company at Vital Children’s Theater in New York City. The original production opened January 16, 2010 and was directed by Jeremy Dobrish. Photo Credit, Sun Productions.
A (Tooth) Fairy Tale (Samuel French)
Music & lyrics by Rick Hip-Flores; libretto by Ben H. Winters
originally produced by Vital Theater Company
A boy named Samuel is tired of his life: It’s nothing but rules, rules, and more rules! So when Sammy meets the Tooth Fairy, and she confesses that she’s bored with her own life and wishes she could be just a regular lady, the two arrange a swap. Samuel becomes the new Tooth Fairy, and the Tooth Fairy heads off to make her way in New York City. Soon Samuel is zipping around the night sky, revolutionizing the tooth biz, while the Fairy joyfully takes in the glories of the Upper West Side, and everyone is happy…for a little while. Soon Samuel, tempted by a scheming Local Newscaster, starts ignoring the rules of the Tooth Fairy game, and (even worse) decides he’s too much of a big shot for his very best friends Allison. Meanwhile, after a few brushes (no pun intended) with the hard realities of city living, The Tooth Fairy is ready to switch back, too. But can it be that simple? A (Tooth) Fairy Tale is a musical comedy filled with fairy dust, bright shiny quarters, and maybe just a small molar – sorry, moral – about being true to who you really are. Photo Credit, Linda Ame Key.
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (Samuel French)
Book & lyrics by Ben H. Winters; Music & lyrics by Stephen Sislen
originally produced by TheatreWorksUSA
In Boston, Paul Revere etches out a humble living as a silversmith. Americans and British alike hail the exquisite artistry of his work. But when Paul’s revolutionary friends, John Hancock and Samuel Adams pressure Revere to take a stand against British tyranny and join the Sons of Liberty, he worries that supporting the cause of revolution would mean losing his business and risking the safety of his family. Revere must make a choice: to do what is easy, or to do what is right. From the halls of British Parliament, to the port of Boston and the “Tea Party” protest, to the Boston Massacre and the dangerous thrill of Revere’s now-legendary ride, this new musical makes American history accessible and exciting through a unique combination of music, drama and humor. The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere tells the inspirational, universal story of how ordinary people can make a difference.