Last year I started covering family theatre for BroadwayWorld.com, the Internet’s largest theatrical website. That was when I was invited to bring my daughter to see “Freckleface Strawberry” at New World Stages in New York. The show is based on actress Julianne Moore’s popular children’s book series about a little girl with red hair and freckles who gets teased for being different. What I thought was most interesting about the show was that it wasn’t about some horrible bullying episode. This show is more about how little things can hurt and how sometimes we need to not only be more aware of how the words we say effect others, we also need to learn to feel more comfortable in the skin we’re in.
LOVE THE SKIN YOU’RE IN. It’s Freckleface’s new motto. They’ve dropped the “Strawberry” and have become just “Freckleface the Musical” in a new production at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, Rose Caiola’s groundbreaking new facility that functions as a theatre, rehearsal studio center and dance school. The new show is aiming for a slightly older group of kids, those eight to twelve year old “tweens” that theatre often forgets about. They have a new mini-music video coming out, soon to be airing on Nick Jr. right between The Fresh Beats and Victorious, which is exactly where a show appealing to tweens should be presented. And of course, they are using the tremendous success of the Freckleface franchise to do good: the producers want this show to be a catalyst for change, to help teach some valuable lessons to kids about tolerance and self acceptance.
To that end, there is a special Martin Luther King day performance and talkback scheduled for January 16 at 1:00 PM. The discussion will be about bullying and in the audience, along with a bunch of MamaDrama participating bloggers, will be school groups who are there to enjoy the theatre and take home an important message.
The best theatre changes its audience in some way, hopefully for the better. We’re proud to be working with the people at “Freckleface the Musical to inspire change and to build some positive buzz for kids. Wouldn’t it be amazing if some day soon it was considered cool to be comfortable with yourself and kind to others? Oh wait….it is!