Idaho Repertory Theatre
Department of Theatre Arts
Corner of 6th and Rayburn
Shoup Hall - 2nd Floor
PHONE: (208) 885-6465
FAX: (208) 885-2558
Idaho Repertory Theatre
c/o University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 2008
Moscow, ID 83844-2008
Tomato Plant Girl
An Empowering Journey for Young Audiences
Being a kid isn’t always easy. Making friends, dealing with bullies, peer pressure — it’s not fun and games all of the time. With “Tomato Plant Girl”, opening on July 10 at the University of Idaho Hartung Outdoor Theater, young audiences are taken on an empowering journey with funny and quirky characters they’ll find recognizable and relatable, said Travis Gray, director of the Idaho Repertory Theatre’s 2014 summer youth theatre project.
“For me, the play is about finding yourself, and subsequently finding your own strength and happiness,” Gray said. “We can all learn from Little Girl’s journey, and risk being “different” in order to be ourselves,” he said.
Written by Wesley Middleton, “Tomato Plant Girl” uses sharp dialogue, physical action and high-energy encounters to explore relationships. Characters include “Little Girl” the new kid in town, “Bossy Best Friend” who likes to be in control, and “Tomato Plant Girl”, a magical, messy girl-creature who comes between the two with her new ideas about the meaning of friendship.
The play comes at a time when the topic of bullying is a concern among parents and schools, and Gray says this helps to add to the importance of the message. But he is sensitive to delivering it in a way that is fun and engaging.
“Part of the reason I’m in theatre is that I refuse to grow up,” said Gray, who is an MFA student in the University of Idaho Theatre Arts department. “I’m still very much in touch with my inner child and doing theatre appeals to me in that way. There is just something magical about theatre, and my hope is that magic is transferred from the stage to our audiences, young and old.”
Helping Gray make the play come alive are cast members Lauren Walters, Maggie Miller, Lo Miles, and Edward Pitcher as the off-stage Mother.
“Each one of them brings their own unique talents and strengths to the table,” Gray said., “I think we’re going to have a lot of fun making a wonderful show!
All performances are at 7 p.m., July 10-12, 24-26, 31 and August 1-2 at the University of Idaho Hartung Outdoor Theater. Tickets are $5 for youth, age 16 and under, and $15 for adults, and available at BookPeople of Moscow, UI Theatre Arts Office, Shoup Hall, room 201 or at the door.