By Israel Jimenez
This enchantingly visual and lyrical exploration of a young artist’s mind celebrates the power of art-making in the face of personal and political upheaval. As Mexico grapples with a revolution outside her bedroom window, young Frida dreams of attending school. Polio confines her to bed, but a paintbrush unexpectedly provides a means of escape. With the help of her Amiga, a traditional Tehuana dress magically come to life, Frida paints her way through an epic journey in search of the powerful and dangerous tiger – the Aztec Emperador. Can the ability to draw – and to erase – provide Frida with the strength to defeat the tiger and chart her own destiny?
Merritt Anne and the Mighty Oak
By Laura King
As a family gathers under the mighty oak tree in the town cemetery to lay one of their own to rest, young cousins Merritt Anne and Wyatt plot their escape for happier pastures. They sneak away from the obligatory post-funeral meal in search of adventure. They climb trees, fish for tadpoles, sing their favorite songs, and plan a future full of fun and fearlessness. But threaded through every moment is the remembrance of the funeral and all that it means. This gentle and elegant play follows a refreshingly honest, witty, and deeply moving conversation about death as seen through the eyes of two young people.
When Coquis Sing
By Michelle LoRicco
How can you build a bond so strong that nothing – not time nor distance nor separation – will ever break it apart? Rosalina and her mother, Ivé, are as connected as a single mother and daughter can be. When a health crisis threatens, Ivé tries to ease her daughter’s worries with stories from her own childhood, stories of Puerto Rico, the Island of Enchantment. In the chaos and confusion of Ivé’s hospital stay, Rosalina finds herself in the magical Camuy Caves. With the help of the cave critters she meets along the way, Rosalina calls upon her remarkable bond with her mother to outsmart the cunning Reina Araña, the scorpion spider. This allegorical exploration into the dark to face a formidable enemy speaks to all children who face separation from someone they love.
By Annie Cusick Wood
(“The origin of shhh and hush is the Middle English word huisst (pronounced “wheesht”), which originated in round about 1350–1400A.D. Huisst meant “silence, peace”. The Scottish plea for silence also includes the ‘sh’ digraph: “wheesht”.)
Wheeessht! – I’m busy
Wheesht! – I’m not interested
Wheesht! – it’s not important
Wheesht! – it’s a secret
Wheesht! is about …not having a voice… no one wants to listen to you anyway…what you have to say isn’t important.
Wheesht! is about …listening to others….. listening to ourselves… really listening and finding your voice… Wheesht! is about speaking up.
We asked Annie to devise a piece for the very young while in residence at Write Now that is responsive to the current times. In her words: “What story for children will make their world a better place? What story can create more empathy, tolerance, understanding and kindness? What do we want to say, as parents, educators, theater makers, human beings ? And how do we make it fun and engaging? What’s important for our kids RIGHT NOW?” We cannot wait to see how she responds!