It’s almost time for our next production, The Meaning of Maggie, a quirky coming-of-age story based on the novel by Megan Jean Sovern. We’ve assembled some special information to help you and your family to get ready for the upcoming performance. Before you go to the show,
you might want to take a few moments to review this “Know Before You Go” Guide so everyone will know what to expect from the performance!
The Story You Will See
Maggie Mayfield may not be like the other 11 year-olds at her school—she’s proud of her impressive intelligence and has Presidential ambitions for her very bright future—but she definitely has some of the same challenges of any adolescent. She has older sisters that don’t
always understand her, an annual Science Fair she had to win (for the second straight year), and there’s a cool guy in class named Clyde who is proving to be a bit of a distraction. But Maggie has learned to be very confident and has always been able to count on her family–especially her funny, fantastic dad—to be there to support her. But on her birthday her dad calls a family meeting to announce some big changes: Mom has started a new job at a fancy hotel and, due to some changes in his health, Dad has left his job as a gate agent at the airport. Gradually Maggie realizes that her dad’s condition (which she hasn’t thought much about) is growing more complicated. After a difficult Halloween, a thoughtful Thanksgiving, and a very tense Christmas (when Maggie’s grandmother shows up and stresses out her mom), Maggie decided it’s time that she use her brains and her ambition to do something to fix her father. The question is, what can be
Oliver & Ferrol Barklage Foundation
Jan 26 – Feb 11 | Best for ages 8+ | 75 minutes without an intermission
The Characters You Will Meet
MAGGIE MAYFIELD—Maggie is a very intelligent and high-achieving 11-year-old girl who has become rather confident about herself and her strengths even if she’s not like her sisters or the other girls her age. Maggie is accustomed to being able to accomplish most of what she wants, overcomes most challenges she faces, and
sees a bright future for herself.
DAD—The dreamer in the family, Maggie’s dad is having some issues with his health related to a condition called Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The disease is beginning to impact his life at home with his wife and his daughters. He has a great sense of humor about everything, but it definitely is becoming a more difficult situation.
MOM—Maggie’s mom is a “down-to-earth” parent and partner who loves her husband and her daughters very much. When her husband’s battle with MS progresses to the point where it is no longer possible for him to keep working at the airport, she gets a job at a hotel which makes it challenging to manage family concerns like she did before. Fortunately, her daughters are growing up and able to help keep the household going.
LAYLA—The oldest of the Mayfield daughters at age 18, Layla is old enough to be told more about her dad’s health and help out when needed. She still bickers with her sisters, but she’s more grounded and growing into an adult.
TIFFANY—The middle daughter and a “typical teen” at 16 years old, Tiffany is a little caught up in her own needs and sometimes annoyed when she doesn’t get what she wants. She’s very different from Maggie and doesn’t always understand her academically minded young sister. But she’s trying to be supportive in light of her dad’s health and help out her mom as she can.
CLYDE—Clyde is a new boy at Maggie’s school that is turning into her crush. Clyde is “cool” in an easy, unpretentious, unselfconscious way that Maggie finds kind of irresistible. They bond over Neil Young (Maggie’s Dad’s favorite musician).
GRANDMOTHER—Dad’s Mother is a concerned but very serious woman who has a lot of strong opinions about her son’s health and how he should be handling it. She is used to getting her own way and is frustrated when others don’t see things the way she does. She does not see her granddaughters often and she does not get along well with their Mom.
MARGOT—The kind and supportive instructor at a one-day creative writing camp Maggie receives as a birthday gift.
Know Before You Go
Here are some things your family might like to “Know Before You Go”:
In this play, Maggie’s father is battling Multiple Sclerosis (often called “MS”), a disorder of the nervous system that disrupts the system’s ability to communicate with parts of the body. Maggie discovers that it’s a complex medical condition with no known cure. Your family may want to learn a little bit more about MS or have a discussion about what it’s like to have a family member with a chronic or deteriorating health condition.
The Mayfield Family tends to get through difficult situations using humor, including humor that might be considered a bit morbid or irreverent. Maggie’s grandmother is a very serious person who doesn’t understand the rest of her family and how that cope with her son’s MS diagnosis. It might provide an opportunity
to have a family conversation about how families communicate during stressful circumstances.
During the story tension develops between Maggie and her family because they don’t always tell her the whole truth about her father’s condition. Your family may want to have a conversation about why Maggie’s family might withhold information from her or omit some of the facts about her dad’s health.
The Meaning of Maggie is based on a young adult novel but several changes have been made in adapting it for the stage. If your family has read the book, you may want to have a discussion about differences between the original story and the stage version and why the playwright might have made those changes. If you have not read the novel, you may want to preview its contents before giving it to your young reader.
From Story to Stage
Megan Jean Sovern’s novel The Meaning of Maggie was published in 2014. It is her first novel and it was based on some autobiographical events in her own family. She is from Atlanta, GA, where she works as an award-winning copywriter in advertising.
This production is a world premiere of the stage adaptation of The Meaning of Maggie. Development of the script began about two years ago. Matt Gutschick, the Artistic Director of The Rose, thought Maggie’s story might make an interesting play, so he contacted the author and publisher of the novel and asked Victoria Stewart to adapt the story for the stage.
Playwright Victoria Stewart has written many plays for a variety of theaters, including several scripts for young audiences
including a popular adaptation of Mercy Watson to the Rescue!
Public parking is available in the Douglas County parking garage at 1910 Harney Street (19th & Harney Streets). During mainstage performances at The
Rose, the cost is a flat rate of $2, courtesy of the Omaha Douglas Public Building Commission. During all other times, the cost is $1.50 for the first hour and $1.25 for each additional hour.
Parking meters adjacent to The Rose Theater are active from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The cost of the meters closest to The Rose (with orange stickers) is $1.25 per hour, with a maximum of 2 hours. Meters beside the Federal Reserve Building are $0.25 per hour, with a maximum of 10 hours. Metered parking spots are free on Sundays and holidays. Parking meters around the theater are connected to thePark Omaha app, available as a free download for Apple and Android devices.
NOTE: Parking is NO LONGER AVAILABLE in the Wells Fargo parking lot on Farnam Street.
While at The Rose
Join Our Post-Performance Q&A Session! A few minutes after the performance, our actors will conduct a Question & Answer session from the stage. It’s a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the scenery, costumes, special effects, and other aspects of the production. The actors may even have a question or two for you about the story.
Meet the Cast & Get an Autograph! Some performers will be available after the show to say hello, pose in pictures, and sign their
autographs for you. You can meet them on the mezzanine level right outside the entrance to our balcony level seats.Take Home a Souvenir! The Rose Guild presents a souvenir stand before and after each performance offering a variety of fun and inexpensive show-related mementos. The proceeds help to support the great education programs at The Rose Theater!
Grab a Theater Class Brochure! If you like what you saw on the stage and think you’d like to be a part of it, try taking a theater class here at The Rose Theater. We offer a wide range of arts classes for every interest and experience level. Please visit our website to read director’s notes and view production photos. Box Office Assistance The Rose Box Office is open Monday through
Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm at (402) 345-4849. Information and ticketing is also available online at www.rosetheater.org.
The Rose Theater, 2001 Farnam Street, Omaha, NE 68102, United States