By: Michelle Kinsey—
Muncie, IN – Can an optimist and a pessimist come together to save the world? Sure, or probably not.
Find out when “Positively Pessimistic” takes the stage at Muncie Civic Theatre this weekend. Performances will be 7:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21, and 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. Adult tickets are $8 and student tickets are $6. For more information, or to get your tickets, call 288-PLAY or go to www.munciecivic.org.
This production is part of the Act 2 Youth’s Writing Workshop. Each summer, the Act 2 Youth write, collaborate, produce and act in an original play. Students are selected based on interviews and writing samples and the Writing Workshop takes place on Saturdays throughout June, culminating in a two-week intensive camp to produce the play.
This summer, “Positively Pessimistic” was written in collaboration by Act 2 Youth and Kirsten Novotny.
“The summer Writing Workshop is such a fantastic opportunity for kids to flex their writing muscles and learn what it’s like to collaborate with a group of their peers to create something entirely new,” Novotny, a Ball State University theater graduate with a passion for playwriting, said. “I count myself lucky to have had the chance to work with these bright minds and watch them go through the process of writing a play. Watching them was like stepping back in time for me – back to when writing was a newly discovered passion of mine. I could see the spark, the moment their minds grabbed ahold of an idea and made a raging fire, and I want them to always have the opportunity and drive to nurture their inner writer and creator.”
The play tells the story of Cameron and Cameryn, who come from polar opposite societies – the Optimists and the Pessimists. Due to an accidental file switch, they wake one day to find themselves living the life of the other, each forced to navigate everyday life in completely new – and often hilarious – ways. When a chance meeting brings the pair together, they must unite to put their lives back to normal by switching their files. If their plan works and they return to their previous lives, they must make a choice. Armed with the memories of their time on the “opposite side,” do they simply go their separate ways or work together to bring harmony to their world?
Novotny said the workshop begins with everyone sitting around a table, all “writers who barely knew one another, but all shared an eagerness to create.” They spent that first day discussing ideas for the show – the theme, characters, what they want to say – literally and figuratively – with their work.
“There was a desire to tell a story of overcoming obstacles, gaining a better understanding of the world, and seeing how your actions and attitudes can affect others,” Novotny recalled. “By the end of the workshop, we had not only a group of new friends, but an entirely new play. To come together with strangers and breathe life into a brand-new creation is something all young artists should get to experience. I hope that these writers continue to grow, create, and imagine for the rest of their lives and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.”
One of the students involved in the project said they were “so thankful for Civic. (I) have terrible anxiety and (I am) introverted. But I am loved here and can be weird and crazy.”
The play is presented by Prime Trust Financial Credit Union.