PIKEVILLE — “I’m going to tell you a secret — and I don’t want you to tell. The secret is about me — about my life — how it will never be the same again.”
Jenny Wiley Theatre has announced a new Footlights Theatre production of “The Secret Life of Girls.” In this honest and unflinching dramatization of teen-girl angst, a window is opened into the tumultuous and destructive world of girls’ bullying.
Abby seeks to gain acceptance as the newest member of the school championship volleyball team. As she and her teammates struggle to find a friend, a place in the group and themselves, their jockeying for position is sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking. Invitations are extended or withheld, individual friendships sacrificed to collective judgments, and alliances formed and changed daily as they careen from exclusion to isolation to acceptance and back again. When faced with the consequences of their actions, the girls ultimately resolve — one by one — to change their behaviors.
Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, the play highlights the impact of “cyberbullying,” the facilitation of mean-spirited behaviors through the use of cell phones, text and instant messaging, e-mail and chatrooms.
When asked about the decision to produce this show, Executive Director Martin Childers said, “This is the first time we have taken on a show that tackles this subject and it is the perfect time to do it. I recently watched a sweet friend endure cyberbullying and there seemed to be no way to combat it. It’s a bigger problem than most of us realize. If you have ever been bullied, had a child that was bullied or even been a bully yourself, you need to see this show.”
Here’s what the critics say about “The Secret Life of Girls.”
“This play is not about real life. It is real life … If you have a daughter under 18 you need to see this show. And if she’s over 11, you need to take her with you. Linda Daugherty’s powerful script is what many say the theater should be — a moment for reflection about what’s true and, in this case, dangerously hidden.” —People Newspapers, Dallas, Texas
“Take every female you know to see this play, then go somewhere and talk. It is a candid, stark, and artistically brutal look at bullying, peer pressure, self-abuse, and finding one’s own value. … shocking and boldly written.” — Better Than Broadway.com
“Playwright Linda Daugherty tells the truth of destructive dynamics, and she tells it with wisdom, compassion, and sensitivity. The Secret Life of Girls offers both insight and hope.” — Rev. Dr. Jeanne Stevenson-Moessner, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
“This brave study of teen girl angst presents an unfortunately realistic and sobering view of what our kids are facing. Hopefully, the conversation Daugherty starts with ‘The Secret Life of Girls’ will be continued in homes, schools, and communities, giving all of us a chance to respond and offer solutions to the difficulties that many of our young women face.” — Susan Sugerman, MD, MPH Girls to Women Health and Wellness, PA, Dallas, Texas.Drama. By Linda Daugherty.
Performances for “The Secret Life of Girls” will be at the 218 Second Street, Pikeville location. Public performances will be April 25, 26, 27, May 3 and 4. Doors open at 6:45 p.m., with the performance beginning at 7:30. Concessions will be available.
Reserved ticket prices are $12 for adults and $6 for youth, while tickets at the door are $14 for adults and $7 for youth.
School matinee performances will be held April 25, 26, May 2 and 3. This show is recommended for sixth grade up.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.jwtheatre.com or by calling 877-CALL-JWT.
Auditions for “The Secret Life of Girls” will be March 11, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Jenny Wiley Theatre, 2nd Street, Pikeville Location. Auditions will include a cold read and improvisation. The Theatre will be seeking six actresses able to play 13- to 18-year-old females and three adult actresses able to play 35-plus.