SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– The Springfield Little Theatre is one week away from opening one of its major productions – which was supposed to happen last year.
The non-profit’s production is called Matilda, inspired by the book and the movie.
Considering what it took to get to this point, the cast says they’re excited and emotional.
Overcoming obstacles. It’s what a young Matilda does in the story and what this cast and crew has had to do since last year.
Charley Wasson will play Matilda.
“She gets abused by her parents a lot, like verbally abused,” Wasson said. “They’re very rude to her. And she has books that she loves to read. She can escape those problems by reading her books.”
After rehearsing for months last year, Springfield enforced a lockdown a week before opening night.
“It’s just like, ‘what in the world just happened?’ Like, ‘Okay? What’s going to happen next?'” Wasson said.
The play got postponed.
“I was definitely very sad because we have all worked so hard and we were all so close to being able to perform the show,” Wasson said.
After Zoom meetings and losing some cast members, opening night finally has a date: June 11.
“It’s going to mean everything to me,” Wasson said. “I’m probably going to start crying. I did not think it was going to happen.”
“Honest to God this cast has worked so, so hard,” Beth Domann, co-director of ‘Matilda’, said. “Their love for each other, for this theatre, for this show… really, it just shines. Just, this… this is special.”
Executive Director Domann said the Little Theatre can’t have a full crowd yet, but ‘Matilda’ will have the best turnout all year.
“I think for the cast it’s going to be emotional, for the staff it’s emotional,” Domann said. “I think for people it’s emotional, for the families, for our community. This is kind of a really big step into getting back to being more normal. I guess it’s the new normal. Whatever normal is anymore. I don’t know what that is yet.”
Wasson wants to be on Broadway one day, and she says Matilda coming back gives her hope for the industry.
Domann said covid forced the field to get creative, and while that’s a good thing, she hopes she never has to go through this again.