The Hundred Dresses 

State of the Arts Productions announces a production of Eleanor Estes’ “The Hundred Dresses”!

A new kid, with a thick accent, and having only one outfit to wear to school, while living in the poor section of town sound like check marks on a bully’s list of criteria for an easy target. The awkwardness of being the outsider is something everyone can relate to!

 

As schools across Columbus prepare a variety of programming tied to anti-bullying, State of the Arts Productions continues this exploration of relevant, timely, and unfortunately timeless topics. Following their exploration of prejudice with productions of “Twelve Angry Women” and “The Color Purple”, the SoArtsPro team is opening October with the stage adaptation of the Newberry Honor novel “The Hundred Dresses”. “People often have difficulty in treating “Different” with fairness and acceptance, which can make someone who doesn’t fit in an easy target for those insecure in their own lives.”, notes Gwen Edward, Executive Director of SoArtsPro. “We wanted to bring a relatable story, with an upbeat ending into the conversation on tolerance of those different from ourselves.”

 

The story follows Wanda Pertronski (played by Jillian Christie), a recent Polish immigrant, who has only a single blue dress that she wears to school every day, yet claims to have 100 dresses at home in her closet. Wanda is bullied by Peggy (played by Ella Borton), while Peggy’s friend Maddie (played by Camryn Carnes) watches on and wonders if she should be participating in the teasing. “Wanda has been one of my favorite roles to play, because absolutely everyone can relate to what I show onstage. Even those bullies out there know what it’s like to be insecure down deep inside! With a little kindness and understanding, we can all be happier!”

 

Vivica Mcrary, the director of “The 100 Dresses” says “I have always found it important that theatre should remain an art form used for discussion, inspiration and reflection. Adults and children alike are still confronted by the damage that ignorance and violent speech can inflict. They are harassed due to their origins, culture or appearance. The Hundred Dresses shows the importance of being kind and supportive even when dealing with the unfamiliar. In this production we want to help reshape our community and our country’s thoughts surrounding our immigrant communities, and to help them recognize that being different is not an inherent threat. This cast has worked hard, and played even harder! We can’t wait for you to see our story!”.

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