As we all know, tough subjects are tough, but they’re even tougher for the youngest among us. That’s why Pollyanna Theatre Company’s latest production, The Secret of the Soap & Spin, is so out of the ordinary. Opening May 12 and for children in grades 2 – 5, friends who enjoyed playwright Jonathan Graham’s The Thing in Grandma’s Closet from Pollyanna’s last season may find similar comfort in this upcoming play.
The Secret of the Soap & Spin is the story of a 10-year-old boy named Vic and his mother. While they do their laundry in the neighborhood laundry mat (The Soap and Spin, of course), Mom tells Vic a story about the fantastical world that lives below this familiar place that they visit weekly. As the action progresses, we begin to see that Vic’s mother has not only a great imagination and true love for her son, but also has a very big problem.
Vic’s mother, like so many countless Americans, struggles with opioid addiction. Soon, Vic finds himself on a great adventure deep inside his Mom’s story where characters like Lint, Dusty (a very angry dust bunny), Mop, Broom, and Bubbles all come together to help Vic make sense of what is going on around him. Ultimately, the play is a metaphor for some of the challenges facing many hundreds of young children, and offers hope for their today and their tomorrow.
Best for children ages 7 and older, The Secret of the Soap & Spin uses humor, honesty, poetry, and puppetry to weave a tale that invites all of us into a serious conversation about how addiction is truly a family disease. While the subject matter is some of the most serious we have tackled, Graham’s play operates on many different levels. Our youngest patrons will see Vic’s great adventure story. Older children will see the complexity of the world Graham has constructed. While no child’s journey through the addiction of a loved one can be fully resolved in an hour-long play, Pollyanna’s production is an artful conversation that ends in great hope for not only Vic’s family, but for all of us.
Check out Pollyanna Theatre Company for more info about the play, as well as a parent/teacher guide to the production that has lots of great resources in it for discussing addiction with children.
The Secret of the Soap & Spin will be in Rollins Studio Theatre May 12 – May 20. See you there!