Kids Corner

Film/Stage

The Royal Falcon:
Now, A Musical

by MATT WILSON

 

 

 

An author from Cupertino (California, U.S.A.) is taking her writings on the importance of tolerance and compassion from print to the stage.

Jessi Kaur is turning her 2009 children's book, The Royal Falcon, into a stage musical that is set to debut in the Bay Area this month.

The play, much like the book, tells the story of Arjan, a young boy who is taken on a fantastical journey through time by a falcon that teaches him the importance of certain virtues.

"The message is to practice kindness, compassion and forgiveness. We're all part of one big large family sharing the same planet," Jessie Kaur says. "My life's goal is to give this message in as many ways as I can."

The narrative is centered around a wartime episode from Sikh history, where a water-bearer named Bhai Kanha-eeyya engages in acts of compassion - equally to friend and foe - even during time of war - a precursor, by centuries, of the Red Cross movement.

Despite the cultural backdrop, Jessie says this play is not just a play about Sikhs. The cast of the musical is multicultural, and the lyrics of the songs are based on verses from Guru Granth Sahib, a scripture that she says uniquely upholds the unity of all mankind, celebrates inter-faith dialogue and diversity, and demands respect and dignity for all.

"This is a universal message," she said. "I did not want it to be just for the ... Sikh community."

The young cast is multi-ethnic and features 16 children and four adults.

Tanna and Tony Kienitz team to direct the production, while the original score was composed by Manesh Judge and Mike Anand. The songs and their accompanying choreography reflect several musical genres, including jazz, hip-hop and even rap.

Jessie worked with her directors and songwriters to tweak her original story into something ready for the stage. She estimates that about 20 percent of the book was reworked and enhanced so it could be better expressed on stage.

Jessie, a member of the Cupertino Fine Arts Commission, is active in the Sikh-American community. She is a frequent speaker at interfaith conferences and addressed the Parliament of the World's Religions held in Barcelona, Spain, in 2004. The event brings together representatives of different faiths from all over the world to create a global dialogue on religion. She was also invited to and spoke at the 2009 event in Melbourne, Australia.

In recent years, she has turned her mission of spreading compassion to the world of storytelling. In addition to The Royal Falcon, she published Dear Takuya ... Letters of a Sikh Boy, in 2008. The book is in more than 200 elementary school libraries across the U.S.

The Royal Falcon will debut at the Cubberley Community Center Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, in Palo Alto, California, U.S.A.. Performances are on January 28 at 6 p.m. and January 29 at 4 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children.

 

For tickets or more information, visit www.musical.theroyalfalcon.org and www.jessikaur.com.

[Courtesy: Mercury News. Edited for sikhchic.com]

January 14, 2012

 


 

Conversation about this article

1: Baldev Singh (Bradford, United Kingdom), January 14, 2012, 10:39 AM.

Such projects are most laudable.

2: Parminder Kaur (United States), January 14, 2012, 1:13 PM.

A beautiful Musical. I had a chance to watch it at the Sikhlens, Art and Film festival in Los Angeles last November. My grandson is in it as Arjan, one of the major parts. So impressed with his ability to memorize and be a part of this production. Good luck to the team on their next showing in Palo Alto.

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Now, A Musical "









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