The Upside of Down
a musical inspired by Eleanor Parker's Pollyanna
music by
Amanda Jacobs
lyrics by Amanda Jaobs & Y York

© 2015

Eleven year-old, mixed-race, Pollyanna Whittier has never met her wealthy white aunt, Polly Harrington because the Harringtons disowned Pollyanna's mother, Anna, when she eloped with African-American minister Abraham Whittier. Raised in a mostly Black community in Kansas, Pollyanna comes to live with her aunt, after both her parents die. Polly Harrington anticipates her duty toward the child, but thinks of Pollyanna only as a ward -- someone to be fed and housed until she can be on her own. Pollyanna arrives with expectations of love,and the safety and comfort that come when you don't have to worry about the next meal or the next place to lay your head. Pollyanna's only comfort comes from her new friend, Jimmy Bean, a self-reliant orphan of her same age. While trying to find Jimmy Bean a home, Pollyanna runs headlong into entrenched racial distrust while this mostly White community is disarmed by Pollyanna who has been raised to raise up the downcast and find the glad in the hopeless.

It is America in the late teens of the last Century. America's East Coast is rife with post-war anxiety and racial unrest.

Workshop March 2015
Hormel New Works Festival

Phoenix Theatre
Phoenix, AZ

available from author's agent