Gathering Blue

Through the woods darkly: kids’ shows turn tough

Lois Lowry's 'Gathering Blue' wraps an onstage adolescent adventure around a world of adult ideas

Camille Cettina (left), Stephanie Roessler, "Gathering Blue." Photo: Owen Carey

Camille Cettina (left), Stephanie Roessler, “Gathering Blue.” Photo: Owen Carey

The sharp whooshing sound of 250 or so middle-school kids inhaling in shock together can fill a theater in a most exhilarating way. It’s a pretty good sign, even against a steady rustle of fidgeting in the seats, that the story’s got the audience hooked. An Important Revelation has taken place, and everyone in the room realizes that suddenly the entire balance of events has shifted.

Well, that’s the way stories work. In this case the story is young-adult legend Lois Lowry’s 2000 novel “Gathering Blue,” in a world-premiere stage adaptation by Eric Coble, at a Tuesday morning show by Oregon Children’s Theatre in the Dolores Winningstad Theatre. And the Important Revelation is – well, we’ll leave that unspoken. Certain things are better experienced first-hand.

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