April 21, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wharton County Junior College Drama Department students rehearse a scene from "The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas," scheduled for 7 p.m. April 28-30 at the Horton Foote Theatre on the Wharton campus. From left are Ben Wandell of Needville, Maegan Hackstedt of Needville, Riley Moseley of East Bernard and Jayla Pettigrew of Stafford.
WHARTON, TEXAS – There’s a monster under the dining room table, and it’s up to the kids to keep it from eating Mommy and Daddy. That’s the plot of Wharton County Junior College Drama Department’s upcoming children’s show, “The Boy Who Loved Monsters and the Girl Who Loved Peas.” The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. April 28-30 at the Horton Foote Theatre in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton campus. It’s free of admission and open to the public.
Penned by Johnathon Graham, the play follows the adventures of siblings Sue and Evan as they interact with a real live monster named Pea. The furry blue beast shows up after Evan wishes there was a creature to eat his peas and play with him. Once Pea arrives, the kids have the perfect friend to act out stories, take trips to Monster World and spy on Mommy and Daddy, both of whom are too busy with their electronic devices to bother with the kids. It’s a poignant, child-friendly comedy that addresses family communication and the need for interaction in an age where digital devices monopolize everyone’s time.
WCJC Drama Instructor Greg McLarty said he was looking for something unique, beyond the typical fairy tale. It was important to find something for younger audiences to connect with.
“I really wanted to do something different and fun,” McLarty said.
Tackling the key roles of Evan and Sue are Ben Wandell of Needville and Jayla Pettigrew of Stafford. Mommy and Daddy will be played by Maegan Hackstedt of Needville and Riley Moseley of East Bernard. The monster, Pea, will be played by Wil Harborth of Wharton.
All five actors said the play requires a different mindset than previous productions as it’s geared toward an elementary age audience.
“It’s a different atmosphere,” Moseley said.
Pettigrew said the lighter ambience allows for a more enjoyable performance.
“We are playing younger roles,” Pettigrew said. “You can let your goofy personality come out.”
Costumes will be quirky and fun, with Moseley donning an odd-shaped hat and Harborth wearing a fuzzy blue monster costume. One highlight for the actors will be consuming real pancakes and cookies during the performance.
“You can actually have fun,” Hackstedt noted.
Assisting with the production will be stage manager Jess Frasier of Bay City, lighting technician Alina DeJesus of Palacios and sound technician Brayden Leva of Sugar Land.