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long story short

the Long Center, from Inside the Ring

POLLYANNA THEATRE is always thrilled to be performing in The Rollins Studio Theatre, our creative home. Our upcoming production, PLAYGROUND SUPERHERO by Andrew Perry will kick off our 2012-2013 season Oct. 10 – 17. We are anxious to share it with young Austinites, their teachers, their parents and caregivers.

You may not know it, but every play that Pollyanna produces is a brand new play. Working with local as well as nationally recognized playwrights, Pollyanna commissions new plays that speak to the needs, dreams, and imaginations of young people and the child that lives inside each of us. And PLAYGROUND SUPERHERO is no exception to this rule. This play came from our desire as a company to help young children address issues that effect all of us.

Many of us have memories of dealing with the playground bully. Either we were the bully’s target or we witnessed someone else struggle with daily abuse. As a society, we currently face an epidemic of this harmful behavior and the aftermath of peer abuse. Not all bullies are 9 years old. Many people carry their bad behavior right into adulthood. PLAYGROUND SUPERHERO is the story of one young boy’s discovery that no one is immune to bullying. But it is also a story about his discovery that there is something that we can all do about it. We can speak up.

About his play, Andrew Perry writes, “PLAYGROUND SUPER-HERO is a play about new experiences. I vividly remember those feelings of a new school and new friends. I remember all the excitement and worries that come with what is new. Will the other kids like me? Will I make friends? What will my new teachers and principals be like? Every time we find ourselves in those starting moments when the future is unknown, there is both the chance for things to turn out fun and the chance for things to turn out scary. And that never changes as we grow up. In every generation, children as well as adults have to deal with all sorts of bullying. These encounters can turn horrible so quickly, people often have no idea what to do, how the situation was caused, or how to avoid it in the future. I wrote this play with the hope of showing young people that we do not always know why people are mean, but that we can still try to be open to moving past any harm done. Sometimes people have a bad day, or bad month, or even a bad year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a bad person. We should always try to learn why people are the way they are so that we can help if possible. We should never give up on our friends just because they are not behaving well. We should always try to turn scary times into fun times. That’s just what a real hero does.”

These may seem like some very complex concepts for children as young as 7, 8, or 9 years old to handle. But childhood isn’t always an easy time and sometimes the smallest people have to face the largest challenges. And Pollyanna will always be here to help guide the way through the discussion. Won’t you join us in the conversation?

— Judy Matetzschk-Campbell
Producing Artistic Director, Pollyanna Theatre Company

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