Mid-Week Intermission | Pollyanna Theatre Company

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Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: Judy Matetzschk-Campbell of Pollyanna

Posted on June 16, 2020 by Long

This week’s feature comes to us from Judy Matetzschk-Campbell, the Producing Artistic Director of Pollyanna Theatre Company. Pollyanna is a Long Center Resident Company that serves at-risk elementary school children and their families through educational outreach and performances in the Rollins Studio Theatre. For over 19 seasons, the company has been presenting original plays that speak to the imaginations of children and the child that lives inside each of us.



When the pandemic began, I was preparing for two upcoming productions. So much of these last 10 weeks has been spent re-inventing how we serve children through the arts and meet our mission, working with Pollyanna company members to create online resources that parents and teachers can use to bring learning to life at home. One result is a large library of Pollyanna Storytime videos that feature some of our talented actors reading wonderful children’s books.

We have also created Distance Learning activities that feature video of some of our most recent productions. Soon we will be hosting our first virtual, interactive performance for children ages 8-11. THE MYSTERY OF THE GREEN TEETH GHOST, which will invite young audience members to take on roles in a Zoom performance and help solve the mystery. We believe it will be a format our patrons will enjoy and will be one way Pollyanna’s amazing team of theatre professionals can remain engaged with our community’s children.


On a personal level, I, like MANY of my friends and peers, have used this time at home to ORGANIZE! If I can’t direct and produce a play right now, at least I can direct and produce a more productive space for working from home. I’ve found myself turning to Quieting Chaos, a local organizer, for tips on simplifying and decluttering.


I’ve also found that digging out in the flowerbeds has been a great release for me. I love flowers but have had very little time to dedicate to growing them. This spring has been different in that respect and I have to say that I’ve loved going out into the yard alone, digging in the dirt, removing weeds, and having something beautiful to show for the effort. 28 bags of mulch later, I’ve got a heck of a great yard and a new appreciation for Central Texas Gardner.


I’ve also been cooking some new things and would be happy to share some recipes if anyone wants to see what’s going on in the Matetzschk-Campbell kitchen. A great resource for food and community is the Sustainable Food Center and if you have kids, don’t miss the online cooking classes at Bake Austin.

It has been a time of looking inward. I’ve learned to be pretty zen about the fact that for the first time in my professional life, I can’t control or “work” my way out of my home office. I have to just settle in, dig deep in many respects, and listen to lots of Pandora radio while I work with my peers across the nation as we try to reinvent theatre for young audiences.