Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. The Butterfly Queen by Christian Kiley looks at the nature of sacrifice and putting others first, and is an opportunity to have a truly transformative experience with your students.
One teacher protects her class from danger. One bystander helps someone timid overcome a fear. One stranger saves another from a burning building.
We all have the capacity to put others before ourselves regardless of the consequences. That is the theme of The Butterfly Queen.
A touching ensemble piece where sacrifice is as simple as a pair of wings.
Why did we publish this play?
Christian is a long time Theatrefolk playwright and we are always thrilled to share his work. In The Butterfly Queen Christian explores how sacrifice can be passed forward and how the impact we have on others can be immense. This is a beautiful play with a vivid extended metaphor. The premiere production of The Butterfly Queen won its district festival with almost perfect scores. It’s easy to see why.
1. Why did you write this play?
I continue to be disturbed deeply, as I know many others are, by the violence in our schools. There are many brave people who have sacrificed their lives to save their students. In my small way, I wanted to honor those courageous teachers.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
We not only have the power to positively change someone’s life; we can save someone’s life.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The transformation when Miss Victoria reveals her butterfly wings.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Heart. Allow your heart to lead you during this process. It will take you back to your childhood and the people you love(d) with unconditional regard.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
The students I serve and work with are the best at connecting with the depth of emotion involved in life. This is a chance for our talented young people to do just that.
6. Why is this play great for online performances?
I am curious as to how I might approach this if I were to direct it in an online production. I think creating a classroom that is separate for each actor (their private space) and making it communal, sharing it, finding common connections between the actors and their living/playing spaces would be a challenge that I would love to see articulated. Like most great questions, the answers of the talented people producing the play will always be best.