Seven years of your life drag the suffix “teen” behind their corresponding number. It’s those few years that often turn out to be the most dramatic, terrific, wretched, and influential of any other years. The Patricia Henley Foundation’s brand new, original piece of musical theater, created by Rod Lathim, Norma LaTuchie, and Peter McCorkle-Newton’s Cradle-exposes the struggles, questions, and triumphs of your average teenager. In a collection of musical numbers, a cast of 14 students from local high schools and junior high schools and their three directors, playwrights, and choreographers dramatically ruminate on where you, him, her, or anyone fits into our universe. The musical expands Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which states that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction,” and approaches the themes of a teenage life through this principle. Newton’s Cradle will be playing at Center Stage Theater on Thursday and Friday, August 14 and 15 at 8 p.m., Saturday, August 16 at 3 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, August 17 at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 963-0508. And here are three more reasons to encourage you to “restore order to the heavens and the Earth” by seeing Newton’s Cradle.
1) It’s not used, it’s new: Today it’s really difficult to find genuine, new theater work. However, Newton’s Cradle is based on the true-life stories and observations of this young cast. The music, lyrics, and story were written by this summer’s Patricia Henley Foundation’s creative team. Rather than reproducing another’s script, Newton’s Cradle provides completely new material to the theater world-and its patrons.
2) Empathy is key: Come support the efforts of Santa Barbara’s youth, who have helped pen Newton’s as a way of reaching out to the world and exposing the vulnerable parts of growing up. This representation of finding oneself is so mature that the show’s main moral-Newton’s Third Law-is quite applicable those of us no longer in our teens. Newton’s Cradle is a young group’s effort to help the world understand, heal, and reveal, so please do your part in supporting and guiding our creative future.
3) True life-we live more than you think we do: It’s during those teen years that an adolescent lives through an immensely dramatic time-one that seems to speed through every possible situation and, eventually, help to ease you in to the “adult world.” Nonetheless, sometimes those situations are too challenging, too painful for a 15-year-old to bear. Though preferably not labeled an “autobiographical production,” Newton’s Cradle doesn’t only spoof true-life complications; it addresses several true stories about events that some of the cast members actually endured