I sent this letter to the editor of the Yellow Springs News. I’m posting it here I missed the paper’s deadline.


To The Editor,

If you missed the Yellow Springs Kids Playhouse production of Alice, Although last weekend, you’ll have another opportunity June 30 through July 3. The ambitious show’s focus is on the scandalous and influential life of Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter, Alice.

The production features a cast of young eagles, rough riders, reporters, “It” girls, four Alices, the Roosevelt family, and a snake named Emily Spinach. Through creative staging and hard work, the play’s original script by Jill Summerville and music by James Johnston have been brought to life by the children under the guidance of Ara Beal, AnnMarie Saunders, Eilis Price, Melissa Heston, Jennifer Gilchrist, and Barbara Leeds. YSKP is known for its inventive, exuberant productions, and this summer’s offering is no exception. These children are serious about their work, and it shows.

I grew up doing theatre in Yellow Springs, at school and at Center Stage, and studied theatre at Earlham College. But even for those of us who didn’t follow an academic or professional path, the value of community theatre is deeply felt and far-reaching. At its best, creating a theatrical experience nourishes the imagination and builds generations of humans who are capable of imagining the world anew.

Although the YSKP is grateful to receive donations and grants, the organization depends on ticket sales for funding. In addition, YSKP offers scholarships so that a child can participate regardless of a family’s financial circumstances. Packing the amphitheater next weekend is one way to support this gift of building children’s’ confidence and imagination. Collaborating in the expressive arts helps humans learn about cooperation, and helps build empathy in a world where we sorely need more. In our small way, by turning up to watch the show and supporting organizations like the YSKP, we can help make the world better.

So come see the magic emerge against the cyclorama of Washington DC in rosy hues, reminiscent of a Maxfield Parrish sky. Performances continue at 7:30pm at the Antioch College Amphitheatre (moving inside the Foundry Theatre if the weather doesn’t cooperate) Thursday, June 30 through Sunday, July 3. Dinner and dessert will be offered by Sunrise Café—convenient if you have a busy schedule. (Did I mention the peach pie?)


Rebecca Kuder (YSKP volunteer and parent of an “It” girl)

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