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Dec. 1, 2016
The students of Alpha Psi Omega (APO), Northwest Missouri State University’s honorary theater fraternity, are hitting the road again this winter with an original children’s play.
The ensemble will give two performances of the play, “Impawsible Pals,” Sunday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in the Studio Theatre at the Ron Houston Center for Performing Arts. The play's runtime is about 45 minutes to an hour.
The show is open to the public and admission is $3 or two canned goods at the door. Children ages 2 and under will be admitted for free.
Ashley B. Reynolds, a senior theatre major from St. Louis and member of the APO fraternity, wrote and directs “Impawsible Pals.” APO members Kali Coates, Rachel Kirby, and Allison Nissley collaborated with her on the production.
The play centers on lessons of acceptance through cast of domestic pets whose personalities stand on their own. Three dogs, a canary, a goldfish and two cats team up to investigate the whereabouts of some missing toys. In the end, they learn to be friends with everyone, no matter who they are or what they look like.
“If you’ve ever seen ‘Zootopia,’ this script has the same sort of feel,” Reynolds said. “It’s kind of like a domestic pet version of that story. We’re subtly trying to teach children a very important lesson, but through characters that they can love.”
Reynolds said she developed the play last summer while trying to think of a project that could be fun and educational for children. Ultimately, she followed her passion for promoting change and wrote to the topic of prejudice in society.
“I really wanted to have a fun story for kids to relate to, but also teach them something in the process,” Reynolds said. “Playwriting, for me, involves some level of education, especially when it’s for children. Using funny, cute characters with a pretty realistic and serious subject, such as racism and prejudice, is not a new idea. But, it’s an idea that has worked time and time again, and I’d like to think we’ve made our use of that idea original.”
In addition to producing the show on the Northwest stage, students will tour with “Impawsible Pals” to schools throughout the region during the University’s winter break.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468