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Stagehands to put on teen's play
For the first time, The Stagehands Children's Theatre in Colusa will be performing a play written by one of their own.
Matthew Pimley, 15, a freshman at Sutter Union High School and a Meridian resident, wrote an original play for the Colusa County acting group.
"Sue Gibbs (The Stagehands board president) asked me to write it, and I was a little lost at what to write about. I scrapped a couple plays before I wrote this one," Pimley said.
The play he finally arrived at — "The Shoemaker" — finished casting, and The Stagehands are now rehearsing it.
"It's about not judging a group by the actions of a few," said Pimley, who knew he wanted the play to have a moral. "It's based a lot on Irish mythology. … People have been mistreating magical creatures, and they don't like humans now."
The play will feature a girl who is tricked and kidnapped by leprechauns. A ghoul will also be among the characters inspired by Irish lore.
Pimley, an avid reader, draws his influence from works of fiction.
"I read a lot of mythological stuff. I enjoyed 'The Alchemist' series by Michael Scott, 'The Hunger Games,' and 'The Host' by Stephanie Meyer."
When Pimley reads, he is not just doing so for enjoyment. He is studying a craft.
"A lot of times when I read a book, I do so to see what an author does as far as character development to apply it to my writing," he said.
Pimley has already written and submitted a children's book for publishing. "The Shoemaker," however, is his first foray into playwriting.
"I do not have any favorite playwrights. Before this, I didn't have experience with plays, playwrights or in theater," he said. "It was difficult at first, because I didn't have any experience with stage terms. Sue helped me a lot with that."
Gibbs was impressed with how Pimley's ability has translated to the stage, particularly with making the costumes.
"He got even a little bit more creative with the costumes than I thought he would," she said.
Gibbs hopes that Pimley's play will inspire other members of the Children's Theatre to come forward with original plays.
"What I basically want to do is have at least five kids submit 10-minute plays and have all those different plays going on in one night," said Gibbs.
While he did not have experience with reading, performing or writing plays, Pimley feels he has found a niche.
"I like the environment of Stagehands. I've always liked to act. I think I'm kind of dramatic," Pimley said, chuckling, "I've taken an interest in going into film in addition to writing, because you can add in exactly what you are picturing.
"It's definitely my dream. I'm going to stick with it. I don't think it's going to pass as a hobby," he said.