The Ring, For Plays for Children, is based on Richard Wagner's music drama, "Der Ring des Nibelungen."
I wrote the adaptation in 1978 when I was teaching at a settlement house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The children, for whom I was asked to direct in some kind of theatrical production, had very little music training in their local school, and nearly all were unable to match pitches. My thought was to direct a theater piece with music where the children didn't have to create the music themselves, but would be inspired by the accompanying music in their performances.
Wagner seemed like a likely choice, because at the time the first Star Wars movie was in theaters, and to kids the orchestral music of Wagner would sound like a John Williams movie score.
The adaptation was a success, and a friend who taught in northern Westchester mounted a production the following year, which was later presented in New York by the Wagner Society.
It has since been given productions throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, as well as the International Children’s School in Vienna, Austria, and The Buxton Festival in England.
The Ring was published by Avon Books in 1982 to coordinate with the centennial of Richard Wagner's death.
“a delight… a thrill… moved… uplifted… funny, of course, but somehow touching and wonderfully right.” -- Donal Henahan, The New York Times
January 30th, 1980. 92nd Street Y, Kauffman Concert Hall, presented by The Wagner Society of New York.