Local play packs a powerful message aimed toward young kids
PADUCAH, Ky. - A local theatre is using the main stage to help young girls and their parents talk about bullying. Three young actresses from the Local 6 area star in the production, and they're using the story of a tomato plant to help nip bullying at the bud.
"I feel ready," said Assistant Director and understudy Jocelyn Hearn. The stage is set. The lights are in place, and now the countdown to opening night is in minutes instead of months.
"It's basically the story of childhood friendships," said Education Director April Cochran. 12-year-old Lilly Swanz plays Bossy Best Friend. "She's pretty much the bad guy in the play," she said. 11-year-old Tate Keeling plays little girl. "She's shy and she's the victim in the play, because she gets bossed around," Keeling said. 11-year-old Katie Caruthers plays the magical, half-plant, half-girl that teaches Little Girl that it's okay to stand up for yourself.
Cochran said, "The topic is very, very timely." She said she chose the age group and this specific play on purpose. "We thought it was time to really talk about the issue from a younger girl's perspective because that's when you learn it," she said.
Whether it's a best friend, or a bully, Little Girl eventually learns it's never okay to be bossed around. That's a lesson that's never too early to learn. "I wish that I could have seen this play when I was little, because I had a bossy best friend," said Keeling.
The Tomato Plant Girl opens Thursday night at 7:00 at The Market House Studio Theatre. The piece will run until Mothers Day, but Cochran said she plans to revive the play and invite girls from local elementary schools to come out and see the show in September.