Broadway comes to Waimea


“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” will open the 2012-13 season for Waimea Community Theatre when the curtain goes up on its next production opening Nov. 16 at the Parker School Theatre in Waimea.

Directed by Jack Watson, the play ran with great success on Broadway and was made into an widely acclaimed film starring Maggie Smith. The stage play is by Jay Presson Allen, adapted from the novel by Muriel Sparks, and is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc..

Jean Brodie is a figure both magnificent and ridiculous in her lofty carriage and extravagant affectations. Teaching at a conservative private girls school in the 1930s, she is worshipped by a set of young girls, entangled in love affairs with two men, and resented and distrusted by a prudish headmistress and straight-laced peers. Her defiance of the school’s confining outlook and her flamboyant romantic ideals lead both her and her girls into continual controversy. Filled with humor and tragedy, the play comments on many still-contemporary issues, including child abuse, educational technique, and the conflict between conservative and progressive ideals.

The cast features Anjalisa Aitken as Jean Brodie, while her girls are portrayed by Madyson Harper (Sandy), Isabela Green (Jenny), Erica Yost (Mary) and Emily Dahl (Monica), with Isabel Richter and Sadie Ednie as additional young students. Todd Ednie (Lloyd) and Rick Turnbow (Lowther) are Jean’s competing lovers, while the headmistress and other teachers are brought to life by Linda Evans (Miss Campbell), Melora Purell (Helena), Mari-jo Allen (Mackay) and John Sucke (Perry).

Director Watson is a recent resident of Waikoloa, having come to North Hawaii after retiring from his position as theater department chairman at the University of Oregon, where he served for some 25 years, during which time he directed nearly 100 plays.

The play will have six performances, presented at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees, running from Nov. 16 through 25. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 60 and older and for students any age, with children 10 and younger admitted for $8. The play concerns mature situations and may be unsuitable for young children. Tickets are available in advance, with a $2 discount per ticket, at Waimea General Store or Without Boundaries in Waimea, or from Suite Possibilities in Kailua-Kona. Advance tickets are also available from the cast, and the theater box office will open 45 minutes before each show for ticket purchase at the door.

More information is available by calling 987-7161 or 885-5818, or by visiting Waimea Community Theatre on Facebook or at waimeacommunitytheatre.org.