Renowned Playwright To Attend UVU Performance Of ‘Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse’
January 29, 2014
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Melinda Colton
Written by: Heather Wrigley
Beginning in February, lovers of imagination and humor will have the chance to see the world through the eyes of a child during the Utah Valley University theater department’s 14 performances of “Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse.”
The play, adapted by author and storyteller Kevin Kling, originally premiered at the Seattle Children’s Theatre in 1998 and has proven to be timeless and popular. Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” will attend the Monday, Mar. 27 performance and will participate in a post-show discussion with the cast and audience.
Inspired by Kevin Henkes’ beloved children’s book, the play features headstrong protagonist Lilly, a mouse who loves everything about school. When Lilly brings her purple plastic purse and its treasures to school and can’t wait until sharing time, her teacher confiscates her prized possessions. Lilly’s fury leads to revenge and then to remorse, and she sets out to make amends.
“In this adaptation I’ve tried to remain true to Kevin Henkes’ humor and warmth as well as his wonderful approach to the way we view the world as kids,” Kling said. “Our senses are sharper, colors are brighter, noises louder, our concept of time is under construction, gravity remains a constant foe, but as yet not an unbeatable one, the real world and the imagined are not separated by a chasm but an easily crossed line.”
This insightful vision has been implemented by the play’s director, John Newman, director of the Noorda Theatre Center for Children and Youth; by set designer Stephen Purdy, a lecturer in UVU’s theater department; and by UVU costume designer Kristi Lambson.
“All of the characters in the play are mice,” Newman said. “While the characters are often presented as humans with big ears and tails, we have fully embraced the mouse world in our production. We have set the story under a table in a schoolroom, in which all of the set pieces and props are mouse-scale objects that might be found in the hidden spaces of the human world. All of the children attending the show will receive mouse ears that will help them to imagine that they are a mouse-sized audience watching mouse actors on a mouse-sized stage.”
“Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse” will run Feb. 27–28, Mar. 1, 3–8, 17 and 20–22 at UVU’s Noorda Theatre. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays. For tickets and further information, please visit uvu.edu/arts or call 801-863-PLAY (7529).