Bay Area Children's Theatre Stages Chelsea Clinton's SHE PERSISTED, THE MUSICAL
Heroines conquer fears, overcome obstacles, and achieve their dreams as Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT) presents She Persisted, the Musical. Based on the New York Times #1 best-seller, She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, fourth-grader Naomi becomes her own hero in the world premiere opening Saturday, Feb. 2, at BACT's Berkeley Theatre Center.
Brought to life with the vision of BACT Executive Artistic Director Nina Meehan, She Persisted, the Musical brings underrepresented voices to the stage to broaden children's horizons and help audiences of diverse backgrounds see reflections of themselves. Meehan lives and breathes children's theater. Starting as a drama camp counselor at age 16, co-founding BACT has shown her there is something about the musical theater tradition that allows it to stick in children's brains. Not only are the actors sharing knowledge, but it's supported by emotion, showing the audience they too can have a voice.
"We hope this production will not only celebrate the achievements of the courageous women who have carved new paths for others but will also inspire our audiences to persevere in whatever paths they choose to take," said BACT executive artistic director Nina Meehan. "We've used the magic of time travel so that the children in the audience can experience the excitement of meeting these heroines as they face pivotal moments in their lives."
Recognizing an opportunity to deepen understanding of the heroines and the themes in her book, Chelsea Clinton embraced bringing She Persisted, the Musical, to the stage. With a project such as this giving voice to inspiring characters, past and present it's about assembling a great team. Familiar with the work of BACT's artistic team, Clinton blessed the project.
Each of the incredible women that I include in She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World has inspired me, said Chelsea Clinton. Their lives are an example, and as She Persisted is brought to life on stage, I hope that these stories of activists, artists, athletes, scientists and more inspire you to believe that with imagination and persistence, you too can change your school, your neighborhood, your community, our country and our world for the better.
Naomi is excited to be visiting the National Museum of Women in History with her class until their teacher drops a bombshell they'll have to write essays describing their experience. Naomi, not a confident writer, would've preferred anything but an essay and is unsure of what to do, when, suddenly, Time, er, a rather young, inexperienced (but funny) version of Time, materializes before her and whisks her away to enter the lives of some of the women being honored. A six-year-old Sonia Sotomayor, tells her, If one thing doesn't work, you just find ANOTHER SOLUTION! Harriet Tubman takes her along as she leads slaves to freedom in Canada. And others scientists, an athlete, reformers describe how and why they persevere in pursuit of their goals.
Directed by Khalia Davis, who helmed Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt last season for BACT. Television writer and screenwriter Adam Tobin, who teaches at Stanford University, became enchanted with Clinton's book when he read it with his daughter and has adapted it for the stage. The production features thoroughly engaging music and lyrics by award-winning composer Deborah Wicks La Puma (ELEPHANT AND PIGGIES' WE ARE IN A PLAY!) and Tobin. Recommended for ages 5 12.
Opening Saturday, February 2, at BACT's Berkeley Theatre Center, 2055 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, and plays weekends through Sunday, March 3. After its Berkeley run, the production moves to San Francisco and Sunnyvale (date, times and venues, below).
TICKETS: $17 - $28
BOX OFFICE: www.bactheatre.org or call (510) 296-4433