HOW TO STAGE A CHASE SCENE
Traditionally the chases in a SPROUTS show follow a format. Each chase is made up of short “bits” that, together, form a 2-4 minute chase that ends with the proper characters either being caught or getting away… depending upon the show.
The following are several of the “bits” and their descriptions:
THREE PASSES: Often the best opening gamut… it involves the character being chased running toward and past the pursuer twice, and the third time getting away by jumping to their knees and passing between the legs of the pursuer.
THE ONCE AROUND: Early in the chase it is a good idea to have the character being chased run DSC and ask the audience to help him/her by telling where the pursuer is. As soon as they answer, the character being chased runs OFFSTAGE just in time to avoid the pursuer doing the same thing with the audience.
BUMP & RUN: Two or three characters, as they look high and low for each other, back into each other CS… missing each other and turning as the audience yells “Behind you!” They part, looking to the stage edges again. Finally they back into each other butt to butt. Any number of escapes can be used at this point, including spinning the pursuer and running OFFSTAGE.
THE KICK: The pursuer looks OFFSTAGE with his/her butt sticking ONSTAGE. The character being chased sees this and shows the audience their intention to kick the pursuer… at which time he/she asks the audience to count to three with them and then kicks!
THE AUDIENCE CHASE: The character being chased hides themselves among the children. The pursuer asks the audience where his quarry is, and the character being chased sends him/her off on a wild goose chase.
THE SNEAK: The character being chased steps out from OFFSTAGE and says “Whew, I think I lost him!” Suddenly and silently the pursuer
If the participation in the show is a group response, what is required is pretty self-explanatory. Otherwise, whether the participation in the particular show is a scene or a song… it is recommended that the first participant chosen is at least 8 or 9 years old, and dying to help. After that, younger members of the crowd will participate more willingly and know what they are supposed to do.
It is also recommended that if the script asks that the last participant be a parent or teacher… you should try to find a MALE. For many reasons, it is easier for the children to laugh at the minor embarrassment of a man than a woman.
And wherever possible, the characters should travel into the audience… but only if the house can be lit properly.