Lyrics by Mark Schweizer
Production notes by Carol McClure
As we were thinking about a new children’s work for Christmas, we asked ourselves “What do we as adults, parents, and harried choir directors, want from a Christmas Musical? Do we want deep theological truths presented in a musical tapestry of breathtaking melodies and lush harmonies with dramatic nuances that might be enjoyed for years to come by thespianic connoisseurs of pre-teen Yuletide performances?
The answers were obvious.
It has to be short.
It has to be funny.
It has to be easy.
It has to include Christmas carols sung sweetly by a choir.
It has to have a Christmas message for kids of all ages.
It has to have a part for small children (ages 2-5) dressed up in mouse suits shrieking “EEK!”
EEK! is 16 minutes long—just the right length to plug in to a Christmas Eve family service, take the place of a sermon, or fit into a fellowship dinner program. It might be slightly longer if the mice get loose.
EEK! celebrates Christmas, in particular the virtues of hospitality, as exemplified by the innkeeper, who, despite his wife’s selfishness, welcomes the Holy Family to the stable in Bethlehem. The musical also points out, in a light-hearted fashion, the penalties of meanness and extravagance which the innkeeper’s wife and her mother display.
There are singing roles for two adults (or older teens), including a bedraggled Innkeeper and an hysterically funny Innkeeper’s Wife whose song (with appropriate dramatic flourishes) will bring down the house!
It has two “mute” characters (Mary and Joseph) for those children in the choir that just can’t match pitch and a third (The Mother-In-Law) that could be played by an adult, a child, or even a male clergy-person.
And, of course, a chorus of mice that ideally (but not necessarily) should be able to “EEK.”
Carol McClure's Production Notes include "Four Weeks To EEK!" -- weekly rehearsal suggestions, easy costuming, staging...All you need if you're a bit flummoxed in the production department.
FYI: The EEKING CHORUS on the recording is performed by the First United Methodist Church Daycare, Hopkinsville, KY