"crap game" language for elementary school G&D, jr.

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December 5, 2012
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Has anyone who's done Guys & Dolls Jr. run into any issues with parents becoming upset with the language of the "crap game"? I'm in the middle of auditions, and one of my parent volunteers thought parents would be sensitive to the word "crap". I explained that it doesn't mean "excrement" in this sense at all, it's a game of dice, but now I'm worried. It's so integral to the plot and constantly mentioned throughout the script...do I need to be concerned?
3 answers

VIP Answer
December 11, 2012
Hi Katie, This is the show that more teachers are concerned about than parents. Truly! It is a great opportunity for social study discussion about state lotteries, money used for governmental programs etc. The pros and cons are important and a perfect writing opportunity for students: write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of or against the proposed casino Make sure to support your argument for or against the casino. Include your core teachers with this project and spread the wealth. Everyone takes ownership, understands the history and the time period and buys into the production even more.

December 11, 2012
Thank you so much! It just never occurred to me that someone would be concerned about it, but through my years of doing youth theatre, stranger things have come up as issues! I will explain the origin of the game when I'm discussing the setting of the show and giving the kids some historical context. As a backstop, I spoke with the principal, and she was totally fine with it. Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it!

Staff Answer
December 7, 2012
Hi Katie, I'd say if you're concerned about the reaction of the parents you can use the opportunity to instruct/educate audience members and your actors on the meaning of the word. In fact, there are many different interpretations of its origin. One theory is that the game "craps" was known as crapaud (a French word meaning "toad" in reference to the original style of play by people crouched over a floor or sidewalk). Some internet research by you and your students could turn this into a learning opportunity for everyone involved.