Kate Stilitz is the writer who adapted my book, The Wolf's Footprint, and turned it into a musical. She agreed to tell us something about herself for this blog.
Sue Price: I could tell, talking to you that you really love your job. How
did you come to be doing it?
It all began in Mexico where I spent a year teaching English in a primary school after finishing my A-levels. I had a guitar with me and played a bit and soon found myself getting involved in musical activities. It was a great way of engaging with the children, despite the language barrier. One thing led to another and before we knew it we had created a bi-lingual song cycle. I realised there and then how much I enjoyed working with children through music. After Mexico I came back to London and have been running children’s community theatre projects and school-based performance projects ever since. What really excites me about my job is having the opportunity to work both with the children participating in the projects, and with artists from other disciplines to create something new. In the past I have collaborated with visual artists, other musicians and actors, and for The Wolf’s Footprint I collaborated with a choreographer, Neil Paris.
Sue: Have you written musical plays before? If so, tell us about them please.
In the case of The Wolf’ Footprint, the
starting point was ‘The Song of the Peasants’. I had
an image of the villagers out in the forest: night is drawing in, and there they are, desperately searching for plants to eat as they have done every day since the crops failed. I tried to
imagine the sense of frustration and hopelessness that the villagers might be feeling, and the relentlessness of the work they are doing. With this in my mind, I started improvising on the piano
and with my voice, searching for a clear mood that I felt captured the scene.