Ithaca College Theatre closes its 2021-2022 season with three different plays for young audiences that will be performed in rotation. The One Act Play Festival features works such as “Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse” adapted by Mrs. Hard from the book by Kevin Henkes and directed by Dean Robinson; “Unicorn Girl” written by Saviana Stanescu and directed by Courtney Young; and “Free Play” written by Idris Goodwin and directed by Austin Jones. The One Act Play Festival Runs from April 29 to May 1, 2022.
“Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse” tells the story of Lily, a precocious youngster who wants to be just like her favorite teacher, Mr. Slinger. She brings her prized purple plastic purse to school and can’t wait until sharing time but Mr. Slinger confiscates her treasures. Lilly acts out in anger and frustration, but learns a lesson about caring, respect, and forgiveness.
“Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse” is a classic children's story that many of the members of the cast and creative team remember from their own childhoods. As re-tellers of such a story the investment of energy and joy remains at the heart of the process.
“We are trying to keep the show moving forward in the spirit of youth that is so important to the piece while making sure that it has elements that appeal to all audiences,” says director Dean Robinson.
“Unicorn Girl” follows 8-year-old Emma who gets bullied at school for having two dads. She sets out on a fantastical journey to end bullying and encourage listening. Emma's stuffed unicorn, Connie, joins her on this journey of discovery, during which she meets people-like animals, animal-like people, and the President.
“I was a kid growing up in a dictatorship in Romania. I always loved fairytales. They managed to transport me into another world where all kinds of magic things were possible while goodness and imagination prevailed,” said playwright Saviana Stanescu. “When the Hangar Theatre commissioned me to write a play for young audiences, I got excited about creating a contemporary fairytale that can inspire people of all ages to cultivate empathy, kindness, and tolerance. As Emma says in the play: ‘I want to make people listen to each other! Respect each other. Love each other. Build things together. Everyone is different and that’s okay. Every family is different and that’s okay.’ I’m really happy that ‘Unicorn Girl’ can now be seen at Ithaca College, brought to stage-life by a wonderful IC team of faculty and student creators. Many thanks to my IC family for making this happen!”
“Free Play” is a suite of four powerful plays, “#Matter,” “Nothing Rhymes with Juneteenth,” “The Water Gun Song,” and “Act Free.” Each story beautifully weaves education and entertainment seamlessly through personal and honest dialogue. These timely stories invite each of us into the conversation to shape our antiracist tomorrow.
“The ‘Free Play’ suite are four compelling stories focusing on education and anti-racism. Our hopes are these stories will, not only entertain, but invite our IC community to engage in important discussions surrounding our relationship with Blackness,” said director Austin Jones.