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RLT Will Kick Off Its 2011-12 Youth Series with “Gooney Bird Greene and Her True Life Adventures”

Gooney Bird Greene marches to a different drummer

Gooney Bird Greene marches to a different drummer

Raleigh Little Theatre’s Teens on Stage will present Gooney Bird Greene and Her True Life Adventures, playwright and professor Dr. Kent R. Brown’s approximately one-hour 2005 stage adaptation of the 2002 children’s book Gooney Bird Greene by Lois Lowry, on July 15-17 and 19-24 in its Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre. RLT youth theater and education director Linda O’Day Young will stage the show, which is the culmination of the Raleigh community theater’s five-week Teens on Stage conservatory camp for aspiring actors aged 13-18.

On its website, Raleigh Little Theatre writes: “[Teens on Stage] students take morning conservatory classes which include movement, acting, voice, and improvisation. The afternoons are spent in rehearsal [of Gooney Bird Greene and Her True Life Adventures].”

When the curtain rises on Gooney Bird Greene, Dramatic Publishing notes:

“Summer has come to a crashing halt in the little town of Watertower. The kids don’t want to be back in school; they are listless and bored. Suddenly, the classroom door bursts open and there, wearing pajamas and cowboy boots, stands red-headed Gooney Bird Greene! ‘Hi! My name is Gooney Bird Greene — that’s like the color with a silent ‘e’ on the end and I like to be smack in the middle of everything!’

“The class is never the same again. Gooney Bird speaks with confidence and dresses in outrageous outfits including Capri pants, blue knee socks, high-topped basketball sneakers, and elbow-length black gloves. But most wondrous of all, she casts herself as the hero in the most improbable, outlandish stories: how she arrived from China on a flying carpet, how she got a lovely pair of diamond earrings at the local palace, how she directed a symphony orchestra while driving through the center of town, and how her beloved cat, Catman, was consumed by a cow!

“Are these stories really true? Of course they are because, as Gooney Bird proudly proclaims, she only tells ‘absolutely true stories!’

“In blending funny and memorable characters with colorful details and her distinctive flair for suspense, Gooney Bird awakens the students’ dormant imaginations. They come to realize their lives are as unique as Gooney Bird’s and that they, too, can cast themselves as the heroes in their own true tales of discovery and adventure.”

Raleigh Little Theatre presents GOONEY BIRD GREENE AND HER TRUE LIFE ADVENTURES at 7:30 p.m. July 15, 1 and 5 p.m. July 16 and 17, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. July 19 and 20, 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. July 21, 7:30 p.m. July 22, 1 and 5 p.m. July 23, and 1 p.m. July 24 in the Gaddy-Goodwin Teaching Theatre, 301 Pogue St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.

TICKETS: $13 ($9 children 12 and under).

BOX OFFICE: 919/821-3111 or








NOTE: All shows are wheelchair accessible, and assistive listening devices are available for all shows.


The Play: (Dramatic Publishing).

The Script: (Google Books).

The Playwright: (Wikipedia) and (Dramatic Publishing).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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