2024-07-17 7:46 PM

NOVA Nightsky Delights With New Play ‘The Feral Child’

Mary quickly warms up to life at home with her new guardian, enjoying time snuggling on the couch with Irene. (Photo Courtesy of NOVA Nightsky Theater)

NOVA Nightsky’s newest play follows the story of a young girl named Mary who disappeared in India with her family at a young age. Ten years later, she’s discovered to be in the jungle being raised by tigers and believes she’s a cat.


Mary, played by Melody Dillon, is taken in by child psychologist Dr. James Hauser, played by Rob Gorman and his wife Irene, played by Carla Baechtle. Despite his years of experience, James finds himself out of his depths with this case. However, his wife’s maternal instincts take over and she is able to help her husband acclimate Mary to life as a human.


This was NOVA Nightsky’s third play and the group has done a great job of having both plays that audiences may be familiar with, such as William Inge’s “Picnic,” as well as original plays and plays that audiences may not have heard of before.


“The Feral Child” was first performed in Alaska where it won “Best New Play” and “Best Play, Non-professional” at the Broadway World Regional Awards in 2019. NOVA Nightsky director Ward Kay heard about the play and fell in love with the story, bringing it to a stage in the Little City.


This play is family-friendly, incredibly funny and has a great message. What is a girl who was raised by tigers meant to do for a living when she grows up? Advocate for animal rights, of course! The play offers shocking statistics on the current state of wildlife and reminds the audience that once a species is gone, it is gone forever.


It also offers a sweet story of chosen family. Mary is brought to the Hauser family by Edith Butler, a woman who was previously taking care of her. She was meant to just stay a few days but James’ determination to help her and Irene’s immediate love for Mary keeps her around.


NOVA Nightsky Theater’s mission to offer entertainment in unconventional places does not in any way take away from the incredible performances but instead enhances them, seeing how the cast and crew transform the fitness studio into a fully functioning theater.


This is a great play for any age and I highly recommend seeing it before it closes this weekend!


“The Feral Child” closes this weekend with performances on Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2 at 8 p.m., doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.30 each and can be purchased online novanightskytheater.com. Seats are limited. The performance takes place at 1057 West Broad St. #216 in Falls Church.

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