Riverboat Development Authority Grant Enables Davenport Junior Theatre to Perform First-Ever Stage Adaptation of Tween Novel Mia the Melodramatic PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Daniel Sheridan   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 14:02

Artistic Director Daniel Sheridan and the Davenport Junior Theatre Board wanted to produce a stage adaptation of author Eileen Boggess’s tween novel Mia the Melodramatic.

Thanks to a generous $8000 grant received in December 2011 from the Riverboat Development Authority, an organization devoted to supporting “programs benefiting residents of Scott County, Iowa,” that dream will become a reality.

“We are excited to be producing this project,” says Sheridan.

Founded in 1951, the Davenport Junior Theatre in Davenport, Iowa is, according to Sheridan, the second-oldest children’s theater in America. Teaching and performing with children from the ages of 3 to 18, Davenport Junior Theatre, a program of the City of Davenport Parks and Recreation Department, has touched many young people in its long and proud history.

One of them was Boggess herself. Boggess worked at the theater from her freshman year of high school through the end of her junior year. “It was a very good time in my life when I look back at it,” says Boggess.

Mia the Melodramatic, published in 2008 by Bancroft Press, is the second book of Boggess’s Mia Fullerton series. It’s preceded by Mia the Meek (2006) and followed by Mia the Magnificent (2010).

Based on Boggess’s own experiences at the Davenport Junior Theatre, Mia the Melodramatic follows Mia Fullerton as she spends the summer working at Little Tykes Theatre. “All of Mia’s friends have moved away or gone to camp, and her mom signs her up for this theater group,” says Boggess. “Of course, chaos ensues.”

With the Riverboat Development Authority grant, the Davenport Junior Theatre has purchased 750 copies of Mia the Melodramatic to be distributed to youth in the Davenport area.

“It will be great for Eileen to come back and visit the very schools she once attended,” says Sheridan.

The play, adapted by Boggess herself, will be performed February 18 through February 26, 2012 as the first show of the Davenport Junior Theatre’s 60th season.

Leading independent house Bancroft Press has published some of the country’s very best fiction and nonfiction over the past two decades.

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