Youth cast members prepare for the 4th annual Mudpie revue. Written and performed by local kids, the show approaches bullying from several different angles.Photo courtesy of Mudlark Theater

The big thaw is coming, and Mudlark Theater is ready to get its hands dirty. “Mudpie 2015: Bullies Get Busted” is the youth company’s fourth annual Mudpie, a wildly entertaining 80-minute revue adapted from the creative writing of local children. The show will be performed March 20-22 and 26-29 at the theater in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.

A cast of 20 young actors will present this series of 23 short pieces, imaginatively interpreted for the stage with humor, honesty, and a touch of madness. Mudpie selections explore a wide range of topics, using a variety of forms.

As the show’s subtitle suggests, bullying was a
recurring theme for this year’s writers, and the show approaches it from several angles. “Warrior” is a serious piece about surviving bullying, while “Bully Busters” is
a madcap spoof in which the title characters become
victims of their own success.

Mudpie is a show shaped and molded by the community. Every year, Mudlark Theater receives submissions of original creative writing pieces (short stories, poems, reflections, etc.) penned by local kids. Writing workshops also take place at ten District 65 schools to help generate pieces from kids who might not submit on their own. Mudpie actors are cast from Mudlark Theater Company’s general auditions and are usually children ages 9-14. These talented young people spend seven weeks working with the creative writing pieces trying to find the best ways to bring them to life on stage.

This year’s Mudpie was generously supported by grants from the Evanston Community Foundation and Foundation 65.