Central Texas’ most well-known children’s theatre company, Pollyanna Theatre in Strategic Alliance with the Long Center, presents Andrew Perry’s Playground Superhero, October 10-14, 16th & 17th at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside, Austin, TX 78704.
This new play, best suited for children in grades 2-5 (ages 7-11) is written by playright Andrew Perry (Ducks vs. Squirrels and Pattern Nation: Waves). The play explores how children must face great challenges daily but can succeed with the help of loving adults and a great imagination.
The cast includes professional actors from Pollyanna Theatre Company, including Michelle Keffer, Gricelda Silva, Toby Minor, Julie Linnard, Bethany Harbaugh and Aaron Alexander. The production is directed by Pollyanna Artistic Director and Founder, Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, PhD.
The story opens with Seth and his mom who is a teacher, heading to both face their first day at a new school. Moving to a new place can be sort of scary, but Seth’s Dad, who is away serving in the Army, has always taught him to be a real hero and to use his wits to turn scary times into fun times. Seth quickly makes new friends but also faces the school’s bully. Armed with his bag of imaginative supplies, Seth soon saves the day and becomes the playground’s superhero. In the process, Seth and his new friends learn more about why the bully acts the way he does and grow to understand more about themselves as well as the adults in their lives. After all, as Seth’s mom tells him, “Even adults have to deal with bullies sometimes.”
“According to statistics, every seven minutes a child is bullied, and 80% of playground bullying ends up in physical violence,” said Matetzschk-Campbell. “It is a problem that many children face. And even if they themselves are not the target of a bully, learning to stand up for the rights and safety of others is a skill each of us needs to learn. Ultimately, bullying effects each of us and no matter what age we might be, learning ways to speak up is something we must all be reminded to do.”
In addition to public performances, Playground Superheroes is also available for schools throughout Central Texas. Accompanying multi-disciplinary curricula and professional development tools are also available for teachers and parents.
For more information on Pollyanna Theatre Company please visit www.pollyannatheatrecompany.org.
ABOUT POLLYANNA THEATRE COMPANY: The founders of Pollyanna Theatre Company believe that theatre is a powerful teaching tool that speaks to people of all ages in a unique and powerful way through a variety of visual, aural, and emotional languages. Therefore, theatre should be a part of all general education from pre-kindergarten through adulthood. Toward that end, The Pollyanna Theatre Company strives to work alongside educators to inspire, motivate, and teach audiences of all ages. Although the company’s primary focus is upon young audience members, the ensemble performs top quality theatrical productions that speak to and illuminate the human spirit and condition for all ages. www.pollyannatheatrecompany.org
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: ANDREW PERRY has been the production stage manager for the Pollyanna Theatre Company since 2007, and has so far managed twelve full productions and five touring productions. It was through this experience, as well as working with a number of other Austin based theatre companies, that eventually lead him to try his hand at being a playwright. In 2011, Ducks Vs Squirrels: Battle for the Park, Andrew’s first play, was premiered by the Pollyanna Theatre Company at the Rollins Theatre in The Long Center and was splendidly received. This year, Andrew is delighted to have two brand new productions being produced by Pollyanna; Playground Superhero following a commissioned work based on the remarkable Pattern Nation series created and originally written by Pollyanna’s resident playwright, Emily Cicchini.