Full length, youth/family theatre appropriate. (16 women, 1 man):
A difficult, but ultimately deeply rewarding journey has begun for the title character. Her new adoptive mother, Irene, welcomes Adetola, a 15 year-old Nigerian AIDS orphan, to her home and life in Brooklyn and Queens. Irene teaches English at the culturally diverse Pure of Heart Catholic High School for Girls in Rockaway Park, and Adetola joins her there as a student. Adetola’s dignified demeanor causes various reactions among the other students and teachers. The teachers love her good manners, but AJ, a popular but troubled girl, is nonplussed that Adetola has seemingly replaced her in Irene’s affections. Irene and Adetola do not ease into a mother-daughter relationship, and AJ makes things difficult for Adetola in school. But when the step coach at Pure of Heart spots in Adetola a talent for the rhythmic, syncopated dance form, even step captain AJ has to make room for her on the team. Both girls struggle to express themselves. Meanwhile, Irene seeks to understand her new daughter and her favorite student as well as her own growing attachment to Mr. Wyss, a fellow teacher. A Christmas show gives the girls the opportunity to come together to express themselves, and it becomes a triumph for all, proving that there is a place for all to live happily in a healthy world.
Rhythm, self-expression, humor, a clear-eyed look at how a high school - and teenagers - operate, and an accurate representation of the difficulties of parenting are all part of this play.
Fluid staging and minimal scenery and costumes make this appropriate for all theatres as well as touring productions.