Shade Simpson | Staff Writer
The Hampton Players & Company presented “The Hundred Dresses: Stop The Violence, Stop the Bullying” campaign in the Little Theatre of Armstrong Hall. The show ran on Thursday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 7, at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 3 p.m. The performers had a crowd full of students, parents, faculty and community members waiting to see the talent that is the Hampton Players.
The Hundred Dresses is based on the adored children’s book of the same name, which tells the story of a young girl, Wanda Petronski, living in poverty. Wearing the same dress to school every day, Wanda faces torment by her peers, eventually driving her away. It is not until after she moves that they discover the truth behind her dresses.
The setting, mixed with the elaborate costume designs by Hampton graduate Mia Wynn, produced an atmosphere that drew the audience’s attention and made them feel as though they were in the play.
Being that the original story takes place in Connecticut during the 1940s and with Wanda being a Polish girl, the director, Ms. Virgelia Banks, did a remarkable job adapting the story to make it fit modern times. The Hundred Dresses cast includes Alexis Barry, Amarah Ennis, Aaliyah Jordan, Alexandria King, Kameron Peters and Ariana Richardson. It is clear that each of the actors and actresses committed to bringing their characters to life to the best of their ability. The play was part of the “Stop the Violence, Stop the Bullying” campaign, aiming to bring awareness to the negative impacts of bullying, and how important it is to treat others with kindness.
One of the cast members, HU student Amarah Ennis, a first-year journalism major, describes the complexity of the play’s behind-the-scenes process:
“There were a lot of lines to remember in such a short amount of time, and my character, Maddie, was in every scene which made it even harder. There was also no intermission, so everything had to be in place from the start of the show.”
Despite these challenges, Ennis believes that the cast did a good job of making the show fun and relatable, while keeping the anti-bullying message at the forefront. Ennis added that in addition to enjoying the performances for the HU community and all the support she has since received, she also finds performing the play for elementary, middle and high school students extremely rewarding.
“I almost became a little bit emotional when I saw it because of how believable the actors seemed,” said HU student Paige-Monét Vosges, a senior journalism major from Brooklyn. “It made me realize how cruel children can be and the power that kindness really holds.”
If you missed this play, make sure you make it to the Hampton Players’ rendition of the award-winning play Gem of the Ocean, written by August Wilson, beginning Thursday, April 2, at 8 p.m.