2 Girls Who Travel love the arts and when Main Street Theater (MST) recently presented a production of Akeelah and the Bee, we were there! You probably remember the 2006 big screen drama about a young girl who overcomes some major obstacles (dead father, busy working mom, and an in-with-the-wrong-crowd brother) to make it to the big national spelling bee. Keke Palmer (Akeelah) and Laurence Fishburne (Dr. Larabee) were very inspiring in the original. Well we were in awe of MST actors Ashley Shaunte (Akeelah) and Jason Wright (Dr. Larabee), as well as Carian Lynee Parker (Georgia) and Joey Castarena (Javier), who are Akeelah’s friends. Everyone did a phenomenal job.
We loved this heartwarming adaptation held at the MATCH (Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston).The character of Akeelah was played by and up-and-coming actress Ashley Shaunte. She shared with us what she hoped patrons learned from the play.
“If it is one thing you take away from Akeelah and the Bee, let it be that everyone kin to you is not skin to you; let it be that you grow through life no matter how painful it may be; let it be that family can be found in anyone; let it be that it is possible to overcome. Akeelah and the Bee is more than entertainment, it’s life changing, it’s challenging. I hope we can all take away the importance of broadening our horizon and being open to learn from anyone. Akeelah isn’t the only one being taught in this show, and I pray the lessons don’t end on the stage.”
MST Theater for Youth Producing Director Vivienne M. St. John said, “I love the fact that Akeelah and the Bee teaches young people not to let their socioeconomic background, race or gender dictate what is possible in their lives. I love that this play depicts a middle school girl overcoming her background and the obstacles that challenge her – and she doesn’t allow any of it to defeat her. Akeelah reminds us all that if you work hard at something, you can do anything.”
We totally agree! Congratulations on another successful production MST! For more information about MST and their upcoming productions, visit mainstreettheater.com