LOS ANGELES -- The Mark Taper Forum's theatre for young people, P.L.A.Y. (Performing for Los Angeles Youth) will visit 36 schools in February and March with the world premiere of The Square Root of Terrible by Kelly Stuart, directed by Corey Madden.
Originally founded in 1971 under the title of ITP (Improvisational Theatre Project), P.L.A.Y. (renamed in 1994), the Taper's multi- ethnic theatre for young people, tours area schools on an annual basis. In 1985 the Los Angeles Drama Critics Cirlce honored P.L.A.Y. with the Margaret Harford Award for continuing contribution to theatre.
The Square Root of Terrible deals with peer pressure, math anxiety, and how young people overcome personal and academic obstacles. "Through music, dance and exuberant performances, the play tells the story of a young girl, Gloria, who is shunned by the other girls in her class because she's a 'brain,'" said a company spokesperson. "She seeks help from her secret friend and math goddess, Hypatia. Hypatia utilizes the power and strength of math to bring Gloria and her classmates together."
The cast includes Christine Deaver as Hypatia; Tiffany Fraser as Lily, Gloria's ex-friend; Vanessa Marquez as Gloria; Jose Restrepo as Axel, who has a crush on Gloria; Thom Rivera as Oscar, Gloria's macho brother; Steven Sennett as Mr. Mata, a worn-out math teacher; and La Sondra Zarif as Alice, Lily's superficial sidekick.
For scheduling information call (213) 972-7674. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent