The play is based on a short story written by the author.
TWID, DEL, AX, A, DAF, FY are six syllables who dance, sing and play together, spelling TWIDDELAXADAFFY--a meaningless word. When they playfully turn the letter U upside down and it decides stay that way, the whole English language is plunged into confusion. Important, interesting and bad words can't be said, nor can those beginning with Q.
TWIDDELAXADAFFY'S idea of replacing the thoughtless letter with a new one, designed by children in the audience, convinces U to straighten up and act right or be kicked out of the alphabet.
In the second act, AUTHORITY and other leaders of the language, HOPE, PEACE, REASON and WISDOM try to figure out what, if anything, TWIDDELAXADAFFY means. CURIOUS plays a jester role. A solution is finally found by WISDOM -- to give the word to the children of the world to do with as they please.
The play is primarily an opportunity for children to enjoy self-abandonment by becoming characters -- a chance to whoop and holler and dance and sing -- all as part of a joint production, for the entertainment of others. It is a joyous examination of words, of meaning and of spelling. The characters who embody such concepts as HOPE and AUTHORITY are all too human --adding more giggles as the play unfolds.
A stage is all that is needed. Whatever the imagination can conjure could be used as backdrop.
The Syllables Spelling Twiddelaxadaffy:
Following are other thoughts from a critique by Carol Gully, former Artist in Residence at the Bethesda Academy for the Performing Arts, which produced plays for young people:
* Geared to sophisticated children who love language--who absolutely lust for language (and there are those who do.)
* Expresses the musicality of language
* tremendous potential for physicalization of letters, words, ideas, characters, etc., either abstract movement or formal choreography
Basically I think the playwright has written an inventive, very clever piece on language, words, personal relationships/behavior, and their place in the universe. . . .I do strongly believe that it works best with her target audience: a highly-educated, literate, sensitive group of students. However, if the physical action were stressed and the "bawd comedy" emphasized, it might work like a Shakespeare piece and appeal to the "groundlings" as well as the more educated.