Me…Jane Encourages Girls to Follow Their Dreams, Trust Themselves and Be Courageous

Oregon Children’s Theatre kicked off their new season with Me, Jane, featuring lots of humor, great music and empowering messages for young girls. We caught an opening weekend showing of the musical, which imagines the story of Jane Goodall as a child. In it, we meet 10-year-old Jane, her mother, and some nay-saying neighbors who do their best to make Jane doubt her dream of moving to Africa to study animals. Jane spends time observing animals in her backyard, resulting in amusing antics from musically-inclined chickens and squirrels. In the process, she learns not only about the animals, but also about herself.

As sometimes happens in live theater, the production team faced unexpected challenges on the day we went to the show. A cast member was too ill to perform, and the assistant stage manager stepped in last minute to save the show. Although the production was not as polished as others we have seen at OCT, the cast handled the situation like pros, and the stand-in actor gave it all he had.

Everyone in our group found things they enjoyed about the show. The song “Animals” was a standout hit. Another popular scene focused on three squirrels who forgot where they had hidden the food for their spring feast. There were lots of giggles as a conniving chipmunk begrudgingly dropped the food items, including a large pizza with extra cheese, from up in his tree. As an adult, I enjoyed the message of the show, which encouraged girls to trust in themselves, follow their dreams, have the courage to deviate from the way things have always been done, and to listen more to those who support you more than to those who try and bring you down. At the end of the show, images of female scientists, leaders, and explorers were projected onto the set, and it was a nice moment of empowerment and inspiration.

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Our group consisted of kiddos ages 6 to almost 10. I would say our older girls were at the upper end of the target audience for this show, although they all enjoyed it.  

Make sure to arrive early and participate in the animal scavenger hunt. If you find all of the hidden animals, you will be treated to a Me, Jane sticker! And after the show, stick around to meet the cast, have your program signed, and take pictures with the actors. The line moves fast, and the actors spend some time chatting with all the kids.

October 19-November 17, 2019
Saturdays at 2 pm and 5 pm
Sundays at 11 am and 2 pm
Runtime: 60 minutes
Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway
Recommended for ages 5 and up
Click here to find tickets.

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