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Of Gamma Rays and Marigolds

PARK HILLS — Central High School’s Rebel Theatre Troupe will bring Paul Zindel’s drama “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The Moon Marigolds” to the stage for a two-day run starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. The play received critical acclaim in 1971, winning the 1971 Pulitzer Prize, the Obie Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as Best American Play of the season.

The play takes place in 1970 in small town America and centers around a bitter widow and her daughters. The youngest daughter Tillie has an intuitive gift for science and finds success in a science contest at her high school. The climax of the play involves the mother dealing with her daughter’s success while dealing with her own pain.

Jessica Barton, who is portraying the mother Beatrice, said it was a hard role for her to play.

“Beatrice is such a cold character,” said Barton. “She doesn’t want her daughter to succeed in life. She wants to weight them down. It’s a hard role but one that I can put all my anger into.”

The youngest daughter Tillie, who competes in the science contest, is played by Jessica Moon.

“Tillie is really quiet,” said Moon. “She doesn’t say a whole lot but when she says something it means a whole lot.”

Junior Ashlee Vaughn plays Tillie’s sister Ruth.

“Ruth feeds off making fun of her sister Tillie,” Vaughn said.

Another character in the play is the Nanny, portrayed by Alicia Wadlow.

“The Nanny is really old,” Wadlow said. “Beatrice puts me down a lot in the play. I am a boarder in Beatrice’s house. The play is very serious and somewhat depressing but this is about real people.”

The play consists of an all female cast of five. Director Jamie Weiss said this was the right time and the opportunity to do this play due to the actresses he had available.

Admission into the play is $3.50 with show times at 7:30 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday night at the Glenn V. Hill Auditorium at Central High School.

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