Making a difference, one book at a timeMar 09, 2023 02:09PM ● By Alisha Copfer
The main cast of Matilda, Jr. pose with their best character impressions during practice.
FARMINGTON—Standing up to bullies is hard to do. It’s even harder when you’re a kid, and that bully is an adult. Matilda, played by Olive Eggett in Farmington’s rendition of Matilda Jr. the Musical, is born into a family that often neglects her and does not take her seriously. She is left to fend for herself, so at the age of four, she teaches herself how to read and consumes every book she can find at the local library.
“She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her school teacher, the highly lovable Miss Honey,” said a recent Facebook post from Farmington Community Art Center. “Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts and could be the school pupils’ saving grace!”
The headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, played by Olivia Bawden, is a cruel woman who terrorizes the students at the school. Matilda uses her powers to help Miss Honey, played by Kaylie Uzelac, and her classmates.
“It takes a lot of teamwork, and we’ve put a lot of effort into it the past few weeks,” said Beckham Gurman, who plays Bruce, one of Matilda’s classmates. The cast consists of nearly 40 kids of various ages who all work together to make the show happen.
“They have this really great workshop knowledge of a million musicals,” said Farmington City’s Arts & Special Events Coordinator, Tia Uzelac. Tia said that each child who participates in these musicals has the opportunity to stay with the theater for about 10 years. Over these years, they can gain knowledge about the different aspects that go into the performing arts.
“Whether we’re in it or not, we’re always helping, even with concessions, we’re always here,” said Kaylie.
Matilda Jr., the Musical runs from March 22 to March 25 at the Farmington Community Art Center located at 120 S. Main Street, Farmington. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday at 7 p.m., and a Saturday Matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets are available for $7 online at parksandrec.farmington.utah.gov/theater-youth and $8 at the door.
Along with the play, the theater is running a literacy and reading book drive. “We’ve asked each cast member to donate their favorite book, and they will write a book review on a bookmark, and we’re going to donate that as well as we’re going to ask the patrons to donate a book,” said Megan Champion, the show’s director. All donated books will be given to the House of Hope in Salt Lake City.