One Year Later, Goldilocks Gets Her Day in Court

It’s been a year since Goldilocks was supposed to appear before a jury of her peers. She looks sweet, but the girl has been charged with crimes that include trespassing and the malicious destruction of property. Mama, Papa and Baby Bear were all ready to take the stand last March and testify to the fact.

Then, a global pandemic seemed to let Goldilocks off the hook as the trial was cancelled amid a statewide shutdown. However, you can’t run from justice forever.

The Trial of Goldilocks will take place this weekend at the Lowell Performing Arts Center at Lowell High School. There will be three performances of the youth theater production:

  • Friday, April 16, at 7pm
  • Saturday, April 17, at 11am
  • Saturday, April 17, at 2:30pm

The public is invited to attend the trial with limited in-person tickets available for each performance as well as a live stream option for those who want to watch from the comfort of home. Tickets for both can be purchased online.

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2020 Performances Cancelled Amid Pandemic

Last year, the cast of The Trial of Goldilocks was about a week away from opening day when schools and businesses shutdown as cases of COVID-19 began appearing in Michigan.

“It was heartbreaking,” says Teresa Goldner, the play’s director. “I remember sitting in [the final] rehearsal and crying.”

For weeks, 26 local youth had been working hard to memorize lines and prepare for the performance, and as everything shut down, it seemed as though the production was over for good. It was disappointing to not be able to take the stage although though some students say it was for the best.

“It was sad, but with everything going on, it was kinda a relief,” explains Stella Tessmer, who plays a witch in the jury.

However, it all worked out in the end with LowellArts contacting Goldner earlier this spring to give her the green light to pick back up the production. The director emailed the cast, and 16 members are returning this year to put on the long-awaited performance.

“I’m really excited,” says Eleanor Pastor, who plays Little Red Riding Hood as well as Baby Bear. “It’s really fun to see people you know, meet new people and say lines on the stage.”

For the safety of both performers and audience members, in-person seating is limited, and everyone is requested to wear a mask throughout the performance. The masks had an unexpected benefit, Goldner says, in that they added a new element of creativity to costumes and reinforced the need for students to project their voices when speaking lines.

Perfect Play for the Times

When Goldner selected The Trial of Goldilocks for the 2020 youth theater performance, she had no idea of the upheaval that would occur worldwide. However, she says it ended up being a good choice considering the year we’ve all just collectively experienced.

“I think it’s perfect for this time,” Goldner says. First, the play is a comedy, which is a refreshing change from the serious nature of the news nowadays. Plus, it is a reminder that there are always two sides to every story.

Beyond that, the play is simply fun. “I think it’s a cool story,” says Laura Leasure, assistant director and stage manager. “It’s very creative.” Leasure is Goldner’s mother, and the two have been working on youth theater productions together for years.

Goldner thinks everyone should experience live theater at least once, and at $5 a ticket, The Trial of Goldilocks is an affordable option. With a runtime of approximately 45 minutes, the play is also accessible for younger audiences who might not be able to sit through a multi-act performance.

“I’d love to have a sold-out show,” Goldner says, but she is also excited about the prospect of livestreaming the performance so cast members can share the play with their out-of-town friends and relatives. Then, they too can see if Goldilocks is as innocent as she seems or whether the accusations of the Bear family are true.

For more information, visit the Lowell Youth Theater website and then reserve your tickets for what is sure to be the trial of the year.

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