We will be rescheduling our upcoming Learning Stage Series performances of The Hundred Dresses. We are working with our cast, staff, calendar, and constantly changing information surrounding COVID-19 to make a choice that is safe for our young people and families. We will do what we can to ensure that the incredibly hard work of these talented young artists is not lost due to these circumstances. School and public performances were originally scheduled for March 19-27. We will work with all of our patrons to reschedule to our new dates and of course will update everyone as soon as those dates are decided. If for some reason you are not able to reschedule once the dates are announced, please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org and your ticket amount will be converted to a credit on your Lexington Children’s Theatre account that can be used toward future LCT programming (classes or tickets).
“How many dresses?” “A hundred dresses.”
Wanda Petronski has a funny name and wears the same blue dress to school every day, but when her classmates tease and bully her, she claims to have a closet full of one hundred dresses at home, all lined up. Maddie Reeves doesn’t have much more than one dress herself – but goes along with the game, even though she knows it’s cruel. How do you find the bravery to stand up for what you know is right – even if it means you are standing alone?
To learn more or to reserve LCT school matinee tickets CLICK HERE.
Best enjoyed by ages 8 and up
School matinees best suited for 3rd through 8th grade
Curricular Connections: Immigration, Bullying and Kindness, Compare and Contrast, Imagination
Performed on the LCT Learning Stage
For audition information CLICK HERE.
Things to Know Before You Go
About the Learning Stage Series
The Learning Stage Series debuted in our 2016-2017 season as a way to give more performance opportunities to young artists. Shows in this series are cast entirely with young performers ages 9-18 and designed primarily by LCT’s Resident Professional Interns and other staff members. Productions take place in our Learning Stage, a small 105 seat theatre on our second floor. Seating is stadium-style in a black box type setting where the actors are close to the audience. Tickets are sold general admission, so there is no assigned seating.
About your trip to the theatre
Be sure to arrive early to find a place to park – options include metered parking surrounding the theatre and the parking garage on the corner of Broadway and Short Street. LCT unfortunately cannot validate garage parking.
Because of the way the Learning Stage seating is set up, our seats do not have a back. If anyone attending needs a seat with a back rest, plan to arrive early to get a seat by the back wall of the theatre or let us know so we can reserve a seat for you. To offset the heat generated by stage lighting, the Learning Stage theatre can also get pretty cold. It’s a good idea to bring a sweater with you!
It’s also a good idea to bring some cash. You might need to pay for parking, and we will have books and LCT merchandise for sale in the lobby if you want to buy something before or after the show. If you forget your cash, though, no worries! Both the Box Office and the retail store accept credit and debit cards (excluding American Express).
For more on planning your visit to LCT, click here.
About The Hundred Dresses
The Hundred Dresses is a short adaption of the well-known Newbery Honor winning story of the same name by Eleanor Estes. Our characters live in the United States in 1938, the time of the Great Depression. Having prior knowledge of the Great Depression may be helpful for the context of the show. We recommend checking out this article about what daily life was like for families during the Great Depression here.
Wanda Petronski is a young girl who immigrated to the United States from Poland with her father. This is quite an adjustment for a young person and even more of an adjustment for someone whose first language isn’t English. Wanda and her father do not have a lot of money and she must wear the same dress to school every day with worn out boots.
Bullying is an over-arcing theme throughout the play. Wanda is bullied by her classmates because they find her accent and name funny. At one point in the story, a boy makes fun of her name saying that it sounds like a “Polish sausage.” When Wanda tells her new classmates that she has one hundred dresses at home in a wide variety of cuts and colors, they tease her mercilessly. Peggy, Cecile, and Maddie even create a game called “the Dress Game” where they mockingly ask Wanda about her dresses at home.
We see Maddie question her and her friends’ actions, but Maddie remains a bystander and doesn’t stand up to Peggy and the bullying continues. This ultimately leads to Wanda dropping out of school. In a letter letting Wanda’s class know that she will not be back, Wanda’s father says that they were called “Polacks,” a racial slur for a Polish person. Maddie tries to apologize for her actions by sending a letter to Wanda at her new address, but learns she cannot take back what is already done.
This play is a great way to spark conversations about the issues young people deal with every day. The Hundred Dresses shows what it is like to be bullied, the bully, and even a bystander. This show can also provide an opportunity to talk to your family about the repercussions of our actions, and how those actions can affect the rest of someone else’s life. This may be a good chance for you to talk to your young person about the signs and forms of bullying as well as how to be a “rescuer” before a situation escalates.
We love this story because it is a reflection of true life and teaches young people to be kind to everyone. This story deals with hard concepts such as prejudice and classism, but tells it through the eyes of young people, who will hopefully learn from their mistakes. This beautiful story is one that stands the test of time and has done so since 1954 when it was first published.