A friendship blooms amidst the weedpatch of life in a coastal community in Maine in 1912. Turner Buckminster is new to town and doesn't quite fit in. He doesn't play baseball the right way. He wears too nice of clothes, and besides that, he's the preacher's son. Lizzie Bright Griffin is kept on the fringes because she's a colored girl from Malaga Island. The two meet while they're both trying to find some thinking space along the shores. Lizzie has rowed over from the island to dig for clams, and Turner has escaped the heat, from the sun and society. What is happening to Lizzie's people on the island is unthinkable. Greedy and cruel leaders of Phippsburg want the land for themselves. They want to clear it of the unsightly homes and people who occupy them, and rebuild it as a tourist attraction. They don't care that they are hurting people and driving them away. Lizzie and Turner are a couple of 13-year-olds in search of friendship and learning what is right. We see this story through their eyes.
Gary D. Schmidt wrote the young adult novel "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" based on the forced exodus of Malaga Island in 1912. The novel received a Newbery Honor in 2005. Cheryl L. West was commissioned by the Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN to write the stage play. She did a marvelous job. I listened to the audiobook and found it fascinating. I wondered how they would translate this story onto the stage. Much of it is set outdoors, on the island and on the mainland, and there is an exciting scene on the water involving a whale. The outstanding talents of the Children's Theatre Company brought it all to life.
Read more about the play and see a few photos at my writer's blog www.maryaalgaard.blogspot.com.
Visit http://www.childrenstheatre.org/ for showtimes and tickets. This is the debut production of "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" and will be playing through April 8.