Braidie is just an average kid. She's a little melodramatic, maybe, and a handful for her mother, but nothing too out of the ordinary. So when she sees her friends cruelly hazing a girl at school, she does what most kids would do — absolutely nothing.
Award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod's sober and gripping one-woman show “The Shape of a Girl,” produced by a Canadian company, the Green Thumb Theater, and playing at the Smith Opera House on April 1, adds to the growing consensus in popular culture that “sugar-and-spice and everything nice” might have been overstating the case.
In recent years, girls have been increasingly portrayed in everything from serious journalistic studies to light comedies like “Mean Girls” as tyrannical, bullying and devoted to a ruthless caste system.
Inspired by the real-life murder in 1997 of 14-year-old Reena Virk by two high school girls in Vancouver, this memory play tells the fictional story of a less horrific act of brutality told from the perspective of a not-so-innocent bystander. By making the play about her failure to act courageously, Ms. MacLeod has turned what could have been a simple after-school special into a much more complex drama with thornier moral issues.
Through Braidie's eyes, the audience sees the plight of Sophie, an innocent, awkward girl who is bullied by her classmates. She is ignored, mocked and referred to as a thing instead of a person. Braidie sympathizes with Sophie, but also seems to resent her inability to stick up for herself.
Show times for “The Shape of a Girl” are 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. All seats are $4.50 and may be reserved by contacting the Smith Opera House. The production lasts one hour. Home schoolers, public and parochial school students, and their teachers are invited and encouraged to attend this unique and exciting live event. It is suggested for grades six through 12.
The Smith Opera House is located at 82 Seneca Street in Geneva. Call 315-781-LIVE or toll-free 1-866-355 LIVE for additional information. The Smith is supported, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, the City of Geneva, the Town of Geneva and by contributions from individual supporters. This production is part of The Smith's “ArtSmart Theatre for Young People” series, and is generously sponsored by the Lyons National Bank.
The final show in the 2004/05 “ArtSmart” series is “Mammoth Follies” on April 13.