Martini, Clem. Mouse. Playwrights Canada Press, 2002. ISBN 088754648X. Contact publisher regarding price. 54 pp. Reviewer: Charlene Gan Reading Level: Young adult Rating: Dependable Genre: Contemporary realistic plays; Plays; Subject: Drama--Reviews; Life--Juvenile drama; Curiosity--Juvenile drama; Mazes--Juvenile drama; Theme: Everyone has to find his or her own way in life. Production Requirements: Simple set; costumes are modern but need to make mouse ears and whiskers. Props can be almost anything you want. Acts: 1 Run Time: 45 Min Characters: 9 (1 F 3 M) Cast: This play has been done with 4 actors, 1 female and 3 males by combining some of the characters. Time Period: Present Josh is a lab mouse who doesn't quite understand why he and all the other lab mice do the same things day in and day out. He goes to school just to shred paper and prepare for the mazes that he will do when he gets older. Josh confides in his friend Bowey that he just doesn't understand this kind of life. Bowey tells Josh about a sage who lives in the mazes. Josh decides to try and go and find the sage to see if he can help him understand his questions. When Josh finds him, the sage appears and disappears like magic, and he only answers Josh's questions with more questions. Josh learns that his questions are the way out of his everyday life and into something new. Josh eventually finds a way to get outside the lab mazes and into the real world, where he becomes a boy instead of a scared little mouse. All action of the play is a little slow and monotonous. Josh is faced every day with the same things and is afraid of what is around the corner, but the daily routines never change and therefore are repeated until he changes. This leads to all the characters being static except for Josh. Josh takes advice from his friends and has to decide what he really wants to do with his life and how to proceed with his situation. He finally breaks out of the lab life, out of the maze, and into a life in which he can make his own decisions. This is important in anyone's life but I think the way the play shows it (having a magical sage guide/help him find his way instead of those he loved and trusted) would deceive the audience a little. Even so, the play does enforce that one should make their own decisions and learn from them just as Josh did when he left the lab. It is interesting that the characters are mice, showing Josh's feelings of being almost a robot in a small world. The dialogue is continuous and so the action of the play is constant and well paced.
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