“I don’t want to grow up—not yet. I’m not old enough.”
It is hard to believe that Beverly Cleary’s unforgettable character, Ramona Quimby, has been around for 50 years. Especially considering that Ramona was an accident. She first appeared very briefly in Cleary’s book Henry Huggins. At the time, the book featured children with no siblings, and Cleary thought it would be nice if one of the characters—Henry’s friend Beezus—had a little sister. While she was writing, Cleary accidentally overheard someone outside her house call out for someone named “Ramona,” and the rest is history. Over the past 50 years, it has been no accident that Ramona has made her mark as one of the most recognizable characters in children’s literature, due to her spunk and adventurous nature. She is inquisitive and passionate and all the wonderful things we adults remember about being a kid. At the same time, Ramona is also a very real character. She makes mistakes, gets jealous and often loses her temper. In short, she is like any child you know or any child you were—she wants to squeeze all the juice from life and not let any moment pass without making the most of it. Above all else, Ramona loves her family. The play you are about to see is not only about this gregarious eight-year-old but it is also about families of all kinds—not just the people to whom you are related but also those to whom you find yourself turning during times of need. This play takes a look at a year in the life of the Quimby family with all of its ups and downs, smiles and frowns. No matter how tough things seem to get, the Quimbys always seem to find a way to pull through by focusing on what truly matters— family. And at the center of it all is Ramona: questioning, teasing, laughing, pouting, exploring and being true to herself. Let’s all wish her a happy fiftieth birthday as we celebrate the Ramona in all of us. Enjoy the show!
Costumes designed by Rick Rasnussen