New York City Children’s Theater reached out to some of the best writers we know to create stories for our website based on the prompt:

Once Upon a Time in 3017…

Read our first guest post of the season, courtesy of Emily, age 13!

Once upon a time, in 3017, a young girl stood next to her father, staring at a brown, dry planet in front of them.  They were holding hands, the girl’s soft fingers intertwined with her father’s calloused ones.

“Um, daddy?” the young girl asked.  “What are we looking at?”

“Great question, Xena!  We are looking at an old planet.  Evidence says that this planet was called Earth.”

Xena rolls the strange name over her tongue.  She likes the way it feels coming out of her mouth.

“Earth,” she says, over and over.  “Earth.  Earth.  Earth.”

“That’s right!” the father says.  “According to very old stories and books, people used to live on that planet.”

“Whoa,” Xena replies, fascinated by it all.

The father reaches into his pocket.  He pulls out an old, wrinkled piece of paper that looks like it has been ripped out of an ancient textbook.  On the page is a planet.  A beautiful blue planet, with large blue oceans and masses of green land.

“This is what Earth probably used to look like,” the father said.

“Wow,” Xena said, looking at the masses of land spread out across the vast field of blue, “It’s not like Mars at all.  It’s so much prettier.”

“I know,” the father said.

They gaze at the crumpled, brown sphere in front of them.

“I wonder what happened,” Xena whispered.

“Good morning, Alexis,” Xena said groggily, as she pulled herself out of bed.

“Good morning, Xena.  It is your birthday today.  Happy 24th birthday!” a robotic voice responds.  The “Happy Birthday” tune begins playing throughout the house.

“Thanks,” Xena replies.  She stumbles into the kitchen where she grabs some Breakfast Powder.  With a little bit of water, it turns into an omelet with bacon and an English muffin.  She slouches on her couch and bites her omelet.  Delicious!

“Alexis, turn on the holovision, will you?” Xena asks.

“As you wish, Xena.”

The holovision flickers to live and a newscaster, in pure color, appears in her living room.  “There is a developing story,” the newscaster said, “in the scientific community this morning.”  Xena perks up.  She has been unemployed for about 3 months now, and she’s been looking for a job in the field of science.  The newscaster continues. “Scientists say that they want to explore planet Earth, for the first time in 600 years.  According to top professors at Olympus Mons University of Technology, we finally have the technology to figure out what happened to Earth and why its appearance has changed so drastically.”  Two holographic models of Earth appear before her, one from a thousand years ago and , and one from today.  Xena suddenly sits up in her seat.  She remembers the moments she had with her father, holding hands, admiring the gigantic, crusty ball of rock floating in space that was in front of them.  “Not much is known about this planet,” says the newscaster, snapping Xena out of her spell, “because of the History Ban of 2100.  Now, if you are interested in being a part of the program, please contact the Olympus Mons University of Technology.”  Xena stands up, and smiles. “Alexis,” she says, “Sign me up.”

Interstellar Cinderella

Buy tickets to the out of this world new musical from Laurie Berkner and Barbara Zinn Krieger!

NYCCT’s Playwriting Competition

We’re looking for short plays from the best writers we know – middle school students!