During the next four months, the University of Utah's Theatre-in-Education program will present Dennis Foon's "New Canadian Kid" to more than 16,000 students in 30 schools throughout the greater Salt Lake area.
The four-member cast, directed by Tracy Evans, recently returned from the Rocky Mountain Theatre Conference ("Festivention") in Helena, Mont., where they were invited to perform the drama, which has become one of the most-produced plays for young people throughout the world during the past 10 years."New Canadian Kid" began as a workshop project with immigrant students in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was first produced at the Green Thumb Theatre for Children in 1981.
The story follows the experiences of Nick, a young boy from an imaginary country called Homeland, who has just moved to Canada with his family. The play relates how he copes with adjusting to a new culture and a different language.
Evans believes that the appeal of this play lies in the cleverness of the script.
"The immigrants speak English and the Canadians speak gibberish. What better way to communicate to the children of the audience the experience of an immigrant? Sometimes we forget that, except for the Native Americans, all of us in the United States are immigrants or descendants of immigrants," said Evans.
"It is my hope that the young audiences will learn that there are wonderful things to be learned from those who are different from ourselves," Evans added.
The cast members are Robb Chenoweyth, Andrea Roth, Rene Hemrick and Phil Larson.
Performances will be given on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May. For further information about specific times and locations, contact Pat Wells of the U-TIE program at 581-6356.