Item #4: Wooden it be Nice…

Welcome back to the thrifTheatre item countdown! If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, head on over to Brown Paper Tickets online or the CCJ Thrift Shop to get them in person. And be sure to keep an eye out for our special deals for Facebook friends, students, and folks on the The@trics mailing list!

Let’s see, for you today, we have…oh no…no, it can’t be…well folks, here we go –

thrifTheatre item: Carved wooden statue of a little boy

  • Inspired the set of monologues “The Five Loves of Little Wooden Boy,” written by Ian Derk
  • Directed by Tiffany Antone, with Georgia Harrington, Julie Harrington, Kate Hawkes, Sarah Lemcke, and Marnie Uhl

So…at first glance of this little wooden boy, we’re sure you’re thinking exactly what we here at The@trics were thinking: “Ummmmm…he’s staring straight into my soul and I feel like I might pass out.”

Yes, there is almost no way around the fact that the little wooden boy is a little creepy. We had many discussions about how worried we were that this gent could only inspire weird plays that we’d never be able to include in thrifTheatre. Our original playwright even gave us back the item, claiming he could write a play about anything else. Ay yi yi…

So, in a desperate Hail Mary, we offered the L.W.B. up to any playwright willing to take on the challenge of writing something about him. We received three submissions – and lo and beholdIan Derk (who had also turned in A New Kind of Poker) had crafted a series of five monologues that showed the statue in a completely different light. Thrilled with The Five Loves of Little Wooden Boy, and realizing this may be the only way we could get anyone to look at the wooden boy without feeling like they were opening the Ark of the Covenant, we made an exception and threw both of Ian’s plays in the mix.

Tiffany took the reins to direct this one in addition to Sue Bee and Dallas and found five wonderful ladies of all ages to fill the roles of the loves of the Little Wooden Boy. Through their memories, we chart the course of the Little Wooden Boy from childhood to old age and find how he made an indelible mark on their lives, and they on his.

The monologues have been split up and unfold over the course of the evening (along with another of our pieces, American Gothic), so you get little doses here and there…which is the best way to enjoy the Little Wooden Boy.

Okay, okay, the Little Wooden Boy isn’t as terrible as I’ve made out. And the more I have read through the five monologues about him, I have learned that you absolutely cannot judge a carved wooden statue by its cover…and the Little Wooden Boy has an important and beautiful story to share with us through the women who saw the beauty in him. Outside is a hard exterior, but inside his heart beats with a very human familiarity. His tale is one of being a stranger in a strange land, and managing to find comfort with five people as he has made his way through. Perhaps we all have a little Little Wooden Boy inside us…and we march on, hoping to make a difference to those that love us.

Even if we do at first appear a little odd.

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