MATTHEWS – Thanks to special funding by the ASC Culture Blocks Program, Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts will present a special free outdoor performance of “Princess Fearless.”
The one-act play for young people starts at 11 a.m. Sept. 24 in Stumptown Park. Seating is general admission and first come, first served.
The original play, based on the book, “Princess Fearless: Walking to School and Double Dutch Delima,” is recommended for children in grades 2-5. Local playwright Lakeetha Blakeney, also known as Keetha B., wrote the story, which follows fourth grade student Louise “Lou” Miller, a young girl who must overcome her fears of a neighborhood dog.
The production is in line with Matthews Playhouse’s renewed mission to make the performing arts more accessible and inclusive.
In addition to the free outdoor performance, Matthews Playhouse will present regular ticketed performances of “Princess Fearless” on stage at the Fullwood Theatre from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2. Tickets to these performances range between $10 and $18 per person. . Weekday performances for school groups will take place September 26, 27, 29, 30 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Financial assistance for Title 1 Schools is available from the Matthews Playhouse Sponsor-A-Student Fund. Educators may visit www.matthewsplayhouse.com to learn more about special field trip opportunities for their students.
Blakeney, an accomplished actor, director and theater educator, says Lou is loosely based on her own childhood story and the fears she had to overcome.
“I was afraid a lot as a child for various reasons, and I grew into an adult that was also afraid. I was often paralyzed by my fear,” she said. “I want to encourage children and adults to always be fearless. By that, I mean that even if you are afraid, try new things anyway.”
Blakeney is the founder and artistic director of Redeeming History Productions, a production company creating work that celebrates the marginalized global majority. She is a theater teaching artist and has been working with K-12 students for over 15 years.
Her play, “Sweet Jenn,” won Best Original Script at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. It will premier as a short film in 2023.