PITTSBURG — “I’m not myself today.”
Sometimes it’s hard to understand what someone is going through or to even notice that something is going on at all.
Pittsburg High School Theatre will present Freaky Friday, a musical adaptation of the classic novel by Mary Rodgers and movie feature, which is about an “overworked mother and her teenage daughter who magically swap bodies and have just one day to put things right again,” a release said. They will perform Feb. 20 through Feb. 23 at Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are currently on sale at Memorial Auditorium.
By spending the day in each other’s shoes Katherine, played by PHS senior McKenna Shaw, and 16-year-old Ellie, played by PHS senior Addy Campbell, “come to appreciate one another’s struggles, learn self-acceptance, and realize the immeasurable love and mutual respect that bond a mother and a daughter.”
The musical has many comedic events, however the background of the story brings forth a lesson for the cast and the audience — having empathy towards others.
“It definitely opens your mind to the possibilities of empathy, even though the show has a ton of comedic events, it also has its soft spots where it’s like you catch a glimpse and moments of humanity with family and reality,” said PHS senior Gabe Anderson, who plays a high school student named Adam who Ellie has a crush on. “It’s like things never really seem to be the way you think it is until you stepped into that person's shoes and you’ve experienced it.”
The show is a unique story in that it is not afraid to tackle heavy topics, Shaw said.
“We always assume what everybody is going through right on the surface but that is almost never the truth,” Shaw said reflecting on the show and life. “I feel like we always have these two sides of us, the things we choose to show everybody and the things that are really going on deep down and almost never are those the same thing.”
The cast shared that at times they have found themselves in a situation where they were not being as understanding as they could have been toward others. Anderson said he speculates that high expectations and stress caused him to “completely lose sight of how other people were feeling” because of his own emotions. He said he later found out his behavior had an effect on that person.
Campbell said she had become frustrated with her sibling’s behavior but then realized that he was having a rough day and she didn’t know at first.
“It is really easy for us to stay in this little bubble of self and look only at what’s affecting us and not what is affecting other people,” Campbell said, adding that having empathy towards others is “incredibly important” and people should “make sure that you keep your family members just so close to you because they are so supportive and loving and sometimes we forget all of the crazy things that we do for them and that they do for us.
“In this show, truly putting yourself in somebody else's shoes and experiencing their world really gives you a different way to love them.”