On October 1, the *Lily* cast and director Stacy Pendergraft gave me the luxury of a full reading of the play. This reading is very early in the writing process, and I really appreciated their willingness to share their time and talents. We were also so lucky to have Judy Goss and Cheri Devol and her family in attendance. Judy provided great playwrighting insight, and Cheri gave us wonderful technical ideas. Right now, I am letting their feedback percolate in my mind. I intend to revise again after my Horace Mann project goes up on Nov 2nd. Until then....I'll keep you updated on Horace Mann and, at some point, I'm going to write up a post on the devising project I directed at Hendrix in September. Busy, busy in the best of ways!
The *Lily & the Apple Seed* cast and I were thrilled to be a part of Little Rock's Healthy Eating and Active Living Summit organized by Michael Drake and held at Philander Smith College. We presented a ten minute cutting of this in-progress play exploring healthy choices and seed to plate ideas right before Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius' keynote address. We were very excited to have such a prime spot, and it was great exposure for Wildwood's upcoming spring educational tour of the play.
Inspired by Emily Sutterfield's story, *Lily and the Apple Seed,* helps elementary school educators encourage healthy eating and active living. Lily settles in every day after school to watch her "favorite pal" Huck and to eat all the salty and sweet Snackum's products he sells on TV. Lily's Grandma Francis grows her own food. When Lily is sent to Grandma's for the summer, she learns to love fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats. Back home, Lily must make a decision--will she continue to make healthy choices as exemplified by Grandma or will she return to Huck's tempting treats? Designed for grades kindergarten through 5th, the play addresses Nutrition and Personal Health and Safety standards on the Health and Wellness strand of the Arkansas K-8 PE and Health Curriculum Frameworks.
Wildwood Park for the Arts will tour the play to elementary schools in February and March of 2011.
Thanks to director Stacy Pendergraft and actors Emily Wold, Marquis Bullock, and Ameria Jones for making this preview a success! Looking forward to the full reading at UALR Sunday night!
Wildwood Park for the Arts has commissioned me to write their children's educational theatre tour. The tour will take place in early spring 2012. Artistic director Cliff Baker requested the play focus on the seed to plate idea.
I have completed the rough draft based on a one page story by my sister-in-law, Emily Hardin. The play focuses on a young girl, Lily, who loves vegging out in front of the TV with her favorite junk foods. Huck, a smarmy kid-friendly tv food spokesperson, insures that Lily's love of junk foods continues to grow. Over the summer, Lily stays on her Grandma Francis' farm. Grandma Francis grows a lot of what she eats and doesn't have a TV. Though Lily wins the opportunity to be a TV spokesperson along side Huck and can now eat as much junk food as she wants, she feels differently. Lily must choose between her love of junk food and the healthy choices she learned to make at Grandma Francis' farm.
I will continue to work on the play over the next few months until the tour begins!
About the Author: April Gentry-Sutterfield is a director, deviser, educator, and mom who uses theatre as a tool for social justice, education, and community engagement.