The story of The Yellow Boat is a glorious affirmation of a child's life and the strength and courage of all children. This dramatization is based on the true story of David and Sonja Saar's son, Benjamin, who was born with congenital hemophilia and died in 1987 at the age of 8 of AIDS-related complications. A uniquely gifted visual artist, Benjamin's buoyant imagination transformed his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of colors and shapes in his fanciful drawings and paintings. A Scandinavian folksong tells of three little boats: "One was blue, one was red and one was yellow as the sun. They sailed far out to sea. The blue one returned to the harbor. The red one sailed home, too. But the yellow boat sailed up to the sun." Benjamin always concluded his bedtime ritual by saying, "Mom, you can be the red boat or the blue boat, but I am the yellow boat." Benjamin's remarkable voyage continues to touch audiences around the world. Recommended for children age 8 and older, parents, families and adults. Music in book. No additional cutting is allowed.
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- Type of Show One-act Play
- Product Code Y31000
- Cast Size 5
- Min. Royalty Rate $50/perf
- Cost $9.95
- Approx. Run Time 40 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | Middle School | High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre
- Genre Drama | Tragedy
- ISBN(13) 9781583427095
- "We used large blue, white, red, and yellow cloths to represent water, blood, and sails; we used two belly dancer yellow silk cloths for rotating for a sun image, and two belly dancer rainbow cloths for transitioning to his death; we used a scaffold to represent Benjamin's Bed, the ambulance, the hospital, a couch at the parent meeting, his body for climbing into the exploratory surgery, and three large boxes and three small boxes for levels. We transitioned straight from scene to scene with quick moves and ensemble creating sounds representing the scenes. The ensemble would mimic Benjamin's moves and respond physically to his emotions. Because of the use of cloth and the effective ensemble moves and responses, we received a superior rating at the state festival with acting awards for the entire cast."
- Review by Kevin Plooster, Douglas High School, Box Elder, S.D.
- "This was a wonderful script for my middle school students to study and perform. It was a great opportunity to collaborate with our nursing staff on the medical aspect of the material. One of our students remarked that she has discovered her calling as a child life specialist after playing the role of Joy."
- Review by Chastity Kennedy, Frank Seale Middle School, Midlothian, Texas
- "This script is beautiful and so poignant. It's a difficult one for young actors to grasp because of the subject matter and the staging (it's very open to interpretation), but so worth the journey! I have directed this show twice now and I love it more every time I read it."
- Review by Victoria Irvine, Webb Middle School, Garland, Texas
- "Use your imagination...There are so many different ways to take your audience into the mind of Benjamin. Great for a strong ensemble. It was such an honor to tell the heartfelt story of Benjamin Saar!"
- Review by Tiara Mikell, Alvin ISD, Manvel, Texas
- "Amazing story. Amazing play."
- Review by Ryan Nored, Erskine Academy, South China, Maine
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "When I first read "The Yellow Boat", I thought, wouldn't it be cool if we could see what Benjamin was drawing. I'm a big fan of sand art in story telling as shown on America's Got Talent and I knew we had an artist in the department that could do the job. I bought a ceiling light from home depot ($70-$80) and switched out the electrical so that it would plug in to an Edison to stage pin adapter. Our Teacher materials preparation center in the county has rear projection screens you can borrow for free and a colleague had a docucam, so with my own laptop and projector, we were all set! The most moving picture was the one of Benjamin at the end of the play, the one we decided would be on the drawing Benjamin gives Joy to give to his parents—the scene we see at the beginning of the play. The artist had the Benjamin drawing already done in sand to the side and moved the docucam to reveal the portrait. Then as Benjamin spelled his name, she wrote it alongside the portrait, B E N J A M I N. The audience lost it—tears everywhere. One of my colleagues said it was one of the best plays he's seen in the last four years."
- Tip by Beth De Marco, Falls Church High School, Falls Church, Va.
|Chisholm Trail H S||Fort Worth||Texas||3/5/2021||3/20/2021|
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