Central Texas’ most well-known children’s theatre company, Pollyanna Theatre along with Ballet Austin co-present Holly Hepp-Galvan’s Sprites at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts, 701 West Riverside, Austin, TX 78704. The show runs from January 24-26th with multiple show times and two ‘pay what you like’ parties with the cast following the performances.
This delightful new play, a dance drama, was commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company to playwright Holly Hepp-Galvan, and choreographed by Ballet Austin’s Nicholas Kepley. Pollyanna is also joined in this co-production by Ballet Austin’s Trainees, an amazingly talented group of young professional dancers. Sprites is best suited for family audiences ages 8 and up.
The story follows a young girl named Wren, who is trying to navigate her way through a new set of peers when she realizes that her words are Sprites, imaginative beings that can take on a life of their own. At first this discovery is very fun as the Sprites help her write beautiful poems and fun stories. But Wren is shocked when her angry words suddenly take on a very sinister life. Convinced to use her words as weapons against a friend, Wren launches her angry language into cyberspace and the effect is far greater than she could ever imagine.
Exploring themes of acceptance, peer pressure and cyber-bullying in the digital age, the play delves into the desire to fit in, doing what is ‘right’ and finding one’s ‘true voice’.
Judy Matetzschk-Campbell PhD, founder and artistic director of Pollyanna Theatre Company says, “As a child I was always confused when adults told me that ‘words cannot hurt you’. It sure felt like they could! Today more than ever, a word when it is spoken can never be erased. As soon as it is launched into cyberspace via email or posted online, it has a life all of its own. With bullying online being almost an epidemic among school aged children, it only seems appropriate that Pollyanna would examine this powerful topic through a current and original production. We are thrilled that Ballet Austin is joining us in our efforts to who young people the true power of their words.”
Associate Artistic Director Michelle Martin agrees. “Ballet Austin has a long standing history with Pollyanna Theatre Company and is proud to once again partner with them. Our participation in Sprites allows us to broaden our reach and establish new connections with students and educators throughout Austin. As part of this unique collaboration, our dancers are given the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of theatrical storytelling, as they experience a collaborative creation process in which they are able to build their own characters from the ground up.”
The cast includes professional actors including Chelsea Hockaday, Julie Linnard, Bethany Harbaugh and Maya Pruitt.
In addition to public performances, Sprites is also available for schools throughout Central Texas. Call (512) 743-7966 for more information. As with all Pollyanna productions, accompanying multi-disciplinary curricula and professional development tools are also available free of charge for teachers and parents.
January 24 – 11:00 am
January 25 – 11:00 am & 2:00 pm, followed by a ‘pay what you like’ party
January 26 – 2:00 & 4:00 pm followed by a ‘pay what you like’ party
Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center for the Performing Arts
701 W. Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704
Tickets are $7.75 for children under 12, $8.75 for students over 12-18, Seniors over 65 & Austin Creative Alliance members, $9.75 for adults. Group rates from $3.00 – $5.00 available.
*Please note: At Pollyanna, no family is turned away because of an inability to pay for tickets. If assistance with ticket price is needed, please contact Pollyanna Theatre Company at (512) 743-7966.
For Weekday tickets: Call 512.743.7966. For Weekend tickets: Call 512.474.LONG (5664) or visit: www.thelongcenter.org