[Curtains open. Enter PAGE EDITOR, stage left.]
PAGE EDITOR: Welcome, one and all! Thank you for coming. As you can see on your ticket stub, today's performance is of the always illuminating Théâtre Illuminata, a Young Adult Fantasy series in three acts by Lisa Mantchev.
- Act 1: Eyes Like Stars (2009)
- Act 2: Perchance to Dream (2010)
- Act 3: So Silver Bright (2011)
The story centers around Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, also known as "Bertie", a seventeen year old girl living in the fantastic Théâtre Illuminata, where characters from every play ever written wander behind the curtains. Growing up amongst such famous Players as Ariel, Hamlet, Ophelia and Romeo and Juliet, Bertie has become an independent and rebellious girl with little regard for the Théâtre's rules and customs. This attitude has pushed the staff at the Théâtre too far once and for all, and now her continued presence in the Théâtre is in danger.
Even through all this, Bertie must tangle with the burning questions she has over how she came to live at the Théâtre, who her parents really are, and what her role in the Théâtre Illuminata really is. Top it off with the love triangle between herself, the dangerous and beautiful air spirit Ariel, and Nate, a pirate extra from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid", who always comes to her rescue, and you've got a Coming of Age tale just waiting to happen.
So, as we begin our journey through this tale and its accompanying chorus of tropes, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
[Exit PAGE EDITOR, stage right.]
This series provides examples of:
- Betty and Veronica: Gender-flipped, with Nate as the Betty and Ariel as the Veronica.
- Bishōnen: Ariel.
- Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: Mantchev has stated that she imagines Bertie as looking like Elliot Page.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Yes Bertie,we know that nasty stage manager can be a bit of a meanie, but does it really warrant attacking him with a sword with threats of cutting off an appendage when he's simply trying to make a point?
- Fairy Companion: Peaseblossom, Mustardseed, Moth, and Cobweb to Bertie.
- Love Triangle: Between Bertie, Nate and Ariel.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Bertie's mother is Ophelia from Shakespeare's Hamlet.
- Mushroom Samba: Bertie and Ariel share one after drinking from Alice's "Drink Me" bottle.
- Nonconformist Dyed Hair: Bertie is constantly dying her hair different colors, showcased on each of the book's covers - in the first, it is Cobalt Flame blue, in the second, black and red, and the third, white. While the colors themselves are as dramatic as the theater she grew up in, the constant changes contrast the unchanging nature of the theater.
- Only One Name: Most of the Players, including Nate and Ariel.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Bertie.
- Parental Abandonment: Bertie has no idea who her parents are. By the end of Act 1, however, she only has a Disappeared Dad to consider.
- Protagonist-Centered Morality: Anyone who rightfully calls Bertie out on her rotten behavior is immediately branded wrong, and when she screws up, she just blames it on others, never taking responsibility for any of her actions.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Happens to both Bertie and Peaseblossom in Eyes Like Stars.
- Shout-Out: Theatrical references and large numbers of Public Domain Characters aside, we also have a fairy worrying that she may be "eaten by a grue... -some monster".
- Sidekick Creature Nuisance: The fairies. Imagine always being followed around by 4 loud, obnoxious insects who easily redefine the Bratty Half-Pint.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: Beatrice Shakespeare Smith. Also an example of Meaningful Name.