Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Boys’ Life: 1958 play "Mars Fantasy"

The old January 1958 issue of Boys’ Life magazine has a terrific project to help the overachieving Boy Scout in your family earn the Theater merit badge. It’s a short play titled “Mars Fantasy." The script, written by Muriel S. Bergdorf, is published in the magazine, but your scout will need a few more things before he can live out his Off-Broadway fantasy by staging and starring in a stellar production!

• Cast members: 1st Announcer, 2nd Announcer, Captain Moonlight, Prof. Wolfgang von Houndog, 1st Akela Scout, 2nd Akela Scout, The Cub, Cubby

• Stage: No scenery

• Props: Spaceship with seats for three, and panel boards with knobs and dials (kitchen gadgets); Artificial campfire; Pitcher, tray six tumblers, six straws

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I notice also a one page color comic feature - Space Conquerors -.
So far the earliest I've found is in July of 1956, but I need to keep searching. It's very cool '50s SF with square-jawed military boys and men engaged in realistic type space exploration. The 1958 episodes I looked at involve a group of boys exploring Luna under a UN mandate to establish a permanent base. Apparently various nations are trying to be first... maybe the moon goes to whichever power succeeds first.
The July '56 episode depicts a first intersteller flight to Alpha Centauri. I'm thinking this feature probably visits Mars at some point.

Anonymous said...

YeeHaa! Boys Life - Dec. 1956 - Space Conquerors goes to Mars. More speculative than the Luna episodes, which are full blown SF - The Mars episode is part of a series visiting each planet in turn. Maybe the "canals" are artificial... There may be animal life... The nicest thing is that some of the illustrations look like they are based on viewings of Chesley Bonestell paintings.
Thanks for putting me onto this. I wish I could save these pages somehow...
I prefer to remain anomalous...

Paul said...

And thanks to you for finding the Space Conquerors go to Mars! Looking forward to reading it. Thanks, again!

Anonymous said...

But wait, there's more...
The Space Conquerors feature does visit Mars again.
The three astronauts who were left on Luna to set up a base are sent to Mars.
The storyline begins in August of '58.
The astronauts reach Mars in November of '58.
After a rather short visit and a ridiculous excursion out of the solar system - followed by another series of brief visits to other bodies - the astronauts return to Luna in February of '60... Looks like they're off on an intersteller flight after that.
No feature in May or June of '59.
I prefer to remain anomalous...

Paul said...

Thanks for the update, Anonymous.