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Theater Acting Party

Western Movie -10yr- Beans and Franks




Kathy in Darnestown, Maryland  U.S.A.


July 2006


Honorable Mention

Western Movie  For my daughter's 10th birthday, we filmed a western movie. 

First she sent out invitations that were "Wanted" posters.  Underneath the word "Wanted" we put the friend's first name, then her photo, then her last name.  I copied a couple of pages from the school yearbook to get the kids' photos.  So the invitation read, "Wanted" Jane Doe... for a western party to celebrate Emily's 10th birthday.  The invitation asked the kids to come dressed in western clothes as we would be filming a western movie. 

Then I asked that they mosey over to the phone and rsvp.  When the children arrived, they headed to the basement to pan for gold.  This gave them something to do while they waited for all the guests to arrive.  I had two large shallow tubs filled with sand and water and fools' gold on the ping pong table.  Each child was given an aluminum pie tin that had holes poked in it.  They sifted for gold and then put their gold into pouches.  I purchased the fools gold and pouches online. 

After the children had all arrived, I assigned parts.  My daughter and I had previously decided who should play what according to how shy or outgoing the kids were.  Our basement is unfinished, so I purchased a wall wrap of a saloon background (at the local party store) and taped it to the wall.  This served as our bank and saloon.  I had previously borrowed some stick horses, cowboy hats and fake guns from neighbors.  We had a few scripts on hand to give the kids some guidelines. We had the bad guys rob the bank of its gold, and escape on the stick horses. 

The townspeople called for help and stated they needed Sheriff Emily.  My daughter then rode up on her horse wearing an oversized foam sheriff hat to "save the day."  She appointed some deputies, arrested the robbers and put them in a stall in our barn.  The stall has black bars on it, so it looked like a jail.  One or two extra gang members let the robbers escape and we filmed a funny scene of all the townspeople chasing the robbers back and forth on our wrap-around porch. 

Then we did a big shoot out scene, that ended with Sheriff Emily telling the head of the gang that, "This town's not big enough for the both of us."  She won the showdown and found the gold.  What made the film even more fun was that we added a lot of humor.  The banker giving the robbers lollipops as they left, a food fight (with plastic food) in the saloon, the Sheriff telling the robber to "Draw" and then her replying, "I ain't got no paper!" etc.  Despite the shoot-out, everyone was left moaning and not really dead.  One friend was up on our porch when he was "shot".  He leaned on the railing and then we stopped the film, moved him and then dropped a large doll over the railing. 

The next scene is him lying on the ground.  It was a co-ed party, and all the kids enjoyed it.  After filming, my husband had the kids shoot soda cans off a ledge with water guns.  While he was running the game, I made hot dogs, fries and baked beans for dinner.  We had ice cream cake and opened presents after dinner.  The kids took home their fools gold, a pouch of gold nugget gum, a lollipop and a water yo-yo. 

After the party my husband edited the film to cut out the extra talking etc.  He added music, so that when Sheriff Emily first appears, you hear the theme from the Lone Ranger. We put the theme from The Virginian as the music for the shootout.  The end of the movie has my daughter waving good bye and riding off on her horse. We did a close up on each child for the credits.  Their names appear on the screen while the theme for Gunsmoke plays.   The thank you note is once again a "Wanted" poster.  It said, "Wanted" to thank you for …  We enclosed a copy of the DVD with each thank you note.  The party was really fun for everyone.

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