WILLIAMSBURG– As Ellie and Katherine battle through their mother-daughter relationship, the audience at “Freaky Friday” will suddenly remember the importance of walking in someone else’s shoes. Jacob Noble, first-year musical director at Warhill High School, felt that telling a classic tale would be a great fit for his cast.
“It’s a timeless story, because we can all relate to having that disconnect from parent to child and child to parent,” Noble says.
“Freaky Friday” was first made popular as a children’s book in the early 1970s. The book inspired the original 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris. The movie was remade in the early 2000s with Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis. It was most recently remade in 2018 for Disney+.
The storyline showcases Katherine and Ellie and their typical mother/teenage daughter relationship. The mother and daughter both are under the impression that neither understands the other. When they wake up one morning having switched bodies, it is only then that they begin to understand how the other half lives.
Hailey Bauer, who plays in teen Ellie’s body but has mother Katherine’s soul, is using her final show on the Warhill Stage as a learning opportunity.
“It’s definitely been hard to be playing a mom. I do think it’s important that everyone leaves with an understanding that there are two different sides to every relationship. Even though, in the beginning of the show, Ellie and Katherine think being each other will be easy, they are exposed to what is really going on in each other’s lives,” Bauer said.
For Alyssa Baughman, who plays in mother Katherine’s body but has teen Ellie’s soul, is channeling all her energy toward making an impact on all those who see the show.
“I act a lot like how the daughter is written in the script. It’s easier to do, since Ellie is a teenager and with myself being a teenager, I can channel myself. I hope people take away the fact that they need to be nicer and kinder to their mother and father. But also, I hope people remember to be kinder to their kids, as well,” Baughman says.
Noble hopes that those who come to see the show take away the importance of walking in someone else’s shoes.
“Now more than ever in the world, we could use a little more of understanding each other. We need to be more open to others’ opinions and their way of thinking. We are going through so much change in the world that the idea of understanding each other and seeing people where they are and meeting them there is a huge factor of this show,” Noble said.
Both girls are enjoying their final experiences and agreed that the show has opened their eyes to be more understanding of their parents.
“As I was reading the script, I had these moments of ‘oh, this is what my mom was talking about’ and I’ve gone to her and apologized so many times. She’s always been understanding and accepting of my apologies and it’s really relatable,” Baughman said. “It’s definitely helped me to understand where my parents are coming from and has opened my eyes into everything that adults have to do every day,” Bauer added.
“Freaky Friday” will debut on the Warhill High stage on May 5 at 7 p.m. with performances also scheduled for May 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and May 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.