What did your toys think of you?

We all had favourite toys as children, but did you ever wonder what your toys thought of you?

We all had favourite toys as children, but did you ever wonder what your toys thought of you?

This week, TheatreWorks’s Sally’s Dollhouse will help you find out.

The play, an original comedic piece, will take its audience inside the dollhouse, into the lives of the toys living there. This Saturday for two performances only.

Dollhouse started as a project in Kymme Patrick’s story theatre class, made up of students aged 14 to 27 one year ago. The students have been part of the creative process since day one, helping shape the story through improv and discussions. Several have co-written the script with Patrick.

“We get a lot of freedom working with Kymme,” says Courtney Sales, a student acting in the show and co-writing the script. “Kymme respects us, both as actors and artists.”

The respect Patrick gives her students allows them the freedom to explore both the comedic and more serious sides of their characters’ personalities without being afraid of judgment.

“She gives us freedom to try other things and directs us without putting us down,” Sales says. “It’s a very safe place to be.”

The play follows the toys’ lives when they are disrupted by a new Barbie being brought into the dollhouse. The old Barbie suddenly finds herself no longer being treated as the favourite toy; a grumpy teddy bear and a sarcastic rag doll find themselves in an unlikely friendship; Ken and GI Joe struggle with romances.

“It’s so much fun,” Kim Dias, another student and actor, says. “Kymme’s really great in helping us dig into these characters — not just their personalities, but their physicality.

“How does a Barbie move in comparison to a rag doll? How does a teddy bear walk? We’re all having a great time. There’s a lot of laughter during rehearsals.”

There is also a lot of honesty behind the silliness of the play. When asked for her favourite thing about the play, Sales says, “There’s a decent amount of truth behind the ridiculous characters. I like that.”

Amidst all the comedy, the characters are also facing problems people deal with every day. From gender roles to following your dreams, Dollhouse manages to explore problems without preaching to its audience. A twisted look at the stereotypes we place on others and how we find reasons not to accept differences.

Dollhouse will be performed this Saturday in the gymnasium of the Comox Valley Christian School. There will be only two shows, a matinee at 2 and an evening performance at 7:30.

Tickets will be available at the door. Come ready to laugh and appreciate the hard work the students and their director have put into their play.

For further information, contact theatreworks@shaw.ca or 250-792-2031.

— Theatreworks

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