Press Release - Little Red "Riding Hood"


PRESS RELEASE: NWCT’s Latest World Premiere Examines Gender Stereotypes 

Friday, April 4, 2014

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All Little Red wants is to race cars, but when she’s told girls can’t take shop class, her dreams are dashed. Luckily for Red, Grandma has some tricks up her sleeve — if The Wolf doesn’t get in her way! Set to the tune of fifties rock ‘n’ roll, Little Red “Riding Hood” is the story of the girl who steers her own path.

This original adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood closes out NW Children’s Theater’s 21st Season. Set in the American 1950s, this rock ‘n’ roll-inspired update of the classic tale focuses on female empowerment, overcoming gender stereotypes, and steering your own path towards happiness. It is written by veteran performer Melody Bridges, with music by Bob Hardy.

Ruby Miller (aka “Little Red” — played by high school senior Lea Zawada) steers her way through the repressive world of the 1950s. An enthusiastic would-be mechanic, Ruby prefers repairing cars in shop class over baking muffins in home ec. That’s where “The Wolf” (Dane Shroy) steps in, determined to make sure Ruby knows she doesn’t belong behind the wheel. What he doesn’t know is that Ruby’s Granny (Jenny Bunce) is a bit of a mechanic herself, having been a riveter during the war. Mr. Meineke, the shop teacher, (local comedian Kevin-Michael Moore) keeps the students of Forrester High honest and might have a few secrets of his own.

Little Red “Riding Hood” is the latest adaptation in a series of NWCT world premieres that examine gender stereotypes in fairy tales. Previous productions have included award-winning productions of Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel ~ Uncut!, and Hansel & Gretel.

“Once we took away the original story’s period lessons of obedience above all else, and the admonition to ‘stay on the path’, what we were left with was the story of a young girl heading out into the world on her own for the first time,” says Artistic Director Sarah Jane Hardy. “That’s the story we wanted to tell. In the 1950s, society’s focus was on re-establishing gender norms after women entered the workforce during the war. Women were learning that going back into the kitchen might not be all it was cracked up to be.” Setting the play in 50s America also opened the door to an exciting moment in music history. The original score, created by composer Bob Hardy, draws heavily on the rock ‘n’ roll style of Elvis Presley, Bill Hailey, Chuck Berry, and many others. Period costumes are created with imagination and flair by award-winning designer Mary Rochon. Formerly the resident Costume Designer at NWCT, Mary returns for Little Red “Riding Hood” after receiving her M.F.A. from University of
California-San Diego.

Little Red “Riding Hood” is produced in part through the support The Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Regional Arts and Culture Council and Work for Art, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, and NWCT Donor Circle Members. Over 4,000 school children will travel back in time to the 1950s during six student matinee performances.


TICKETS 503-222-4480

Online sales available at


WHEN: April 26 - May 26, 2014

WHERE: NW Neighborhood Cultural Center • 1819 NW Everett Street, Portland • Participants pick up their event programs and start tour here.

TICKETS: 503-222-4480 or online at

AGE RANGE: Most enjoyed by ages 5 and up

INFO: 503-222-4480 or


Release Date: April 4, 2014

Kill Date: May 27, 2014

Media Contact: To set up interviews or discuss other possibilities for feature stories, please contact: Marri-Beth Serritella, Sucha Production, Inc. at 503-528-1370 or

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