Pollyanna Theatre & Ballet Austin to Present SPRITES, 1/24

Pollyanna Theatre Company invites members of the press and a special child in their lives to a magical, complimentary performance of their new production, Sprites, co-produced by Ballet Austin. The performance will be held Friday, January 24th at 7:00 pm at the Rollins Studio Theatre at the Long Center, (701 West Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78704). A reception with the cast and light refreshments will follow.

This delightful new play, a dance drama, was commissioned by Pollyanna Theatre Company to playwright Holly Hepp-Galvan, and choreographed by Ballet Austin's Nicholas Kepley. Pollyanna is also joined in this co-production by Ballet Austin's Trainees, an amazingly talented group of young professional dancers. Sprites is best suited for family audiences ages 8 and up.

Exploring themes of acceptance, peer pressure and cyber-bullying in the digital age, the play delves into the desire to fit in, doing what is 'right' and finding one's 'true voice'.

The story follows a young girl named Wren, who is trying to navigate her way through a new set of peers when she realizes that her words are Sprites, imaginative beings that can take on a life of their own. At first this discovery is very fun as the Sprites help her write beautiful poems and fun stories. But Wren is shocked when her angry words suddenly take on a very sinister life. Convinced to use her words as weapons against a friend, Wren launches her angry language into cyberspace and the effect is far greater than she could ever imagine.

Judy Matetzschk-Campbell PhD, founder and artistic director of Pollyanna Theatre Company says, "As a child I was always confused when adults told me that 'words cannot hurt you'. It sure felt like they could! Today more than ever, a word when it is spoken can never be erased. With bullying online being almost an epidemic among school aged children, it only seems appropriate that Pollyanna would examine this powerful topic through a current and original production. We are thrilled that Ballet Austin is joining us in our efforts to who young people the true power of their words."

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