Nashville gets Wrinkled
- A Wrinkle in Time
Oct. 11-23 at Nashville Children's Theatre 724 Second Ave. S.
For information, call 254-9103
By Angela Wibking
The current television season to the contrary, today's teens are not all
gorgeous, self-confident beings whose biggest problems arise from romancing
other picture-perfect kids. Most teens and preteens, like countless
generations before them, feel uncertain of themselves and are struggling to
figure out who they are and where they fit in. At the terrifying far end of
that struggle is the kind of alienation that breeds school violence. More
common, though, is a feeling of being different--and being a little
misunderstood and undervalued because of that difference.
If the mass media don't get it, at least authors of books for young adult
readers have long understood that being different is good. The bland and the
beautiful are rarely the heroes in these books; instead, the individual is
celebrated for the qualities that set him or her apart from the crowd of
Meg Murry, the gawky, brainy heroine of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in
Time, certainly wouldn't be caught dead in a Gap vest--if they'd had Gap
vests in the early 1960s, when the book burst upon the literary scene and
captured the imaginations of young readers around the world. Over the last
four decades, Meg and her travels through time and space have continued to
entrance each new generation of readers--as well as their parents and
grandparents, many of whom revisit Wrinkle as adult readers.
"I think I read the book when I was maybe 11 years old," recalls Scot
Copeland, director of Nashville Children's Theatre's stage version of the
novel. "And I've read it several times since. It's one of those books that
stands on its own, whatever age you are. What I really love about it is that
the characters are all geeks--and that's a good thing. It makes it
extraordinarily topical now."
"I felt a strong affinity for Meg when I read the book growing up," agrees
Mark Cabus, the Nashville actor/writer who adapted the novel for the NCT
production. "I identified with that awkward ugly duckling feeling of being
excluded--even though you knew you were smart and special. That's why I love
that the oddball underdog is victorious in the book. But more importantly, I
like that it says we all have the potential inside to be heroes."
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