It’s the summer, school’s out, the kids are unsupervised and the predators lurk, awaiting the perfect moment to pounce on and snatch the innocence of our children. This is the background story of “Premature Pleasures: The Play,” debuting Saturday, April 5, 2014, with two shows - 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - at Helen K. Mason Performing Arts Center, located at 1333 East Washington St., in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.
Written by Alexus Rhone, “Premature Pleasures: The Play” follows the summer activities of Trek Baden, an impressionable 11-year-old who, with the body of a 15-year-old and a desperate need to be affirmed by her friends, hooks up with three wild teen girls in her inner-city apartment complex. Adult male predators, Jell-O shots and idleness threaten Trek’s innocence, until a young woman from a church in the community puts together a girls’ praise dance team, providing structured activities, mentoring and ministry to Trek and to the other young girls in the community. However, change does not come quickly nor easily, despite one’s good intentions. Rhone said she wrote Premature Pleasures to explore “the power of influence.” “I’m fascinated by how one positive person or situation or experience can flip a host of negative influences.” Ripe with dance and drama, “Premature Pleasures: The Play” is a youth production directed by Billy Ramsey, Jr., of BlackPoet Ventures, who said he has wanted to bring this project to stage for a long while. “When I first read the book Premature Pleasures with a group of teens, we loved the vivid characterization and page-turning drama! I thought, ‘we’ve gotta get this to stage’.”
The dynamics created when a ‘little girl’ who looks like a ‘big girl’ gets pulled into ‘big-girl situations’ means the audience should be prepared to laugh, to think and then leave the theater convinced of their own power to influence for the greater good. “Premature Pleasures: The Play” debuts Saturday, April 5, with a matinee show at 2:00 p.m., followed by an evening performance at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please call Unshackled Productions at (626) 765-5487, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.