Photo from the play Kindness.I confess: I was, for much of my life, an avowed pet hater. It all started when I was eight. I was having trouble breathing and my mom took me to the allergy doctor. When we came home with the diagnosis, it was announced that our dog, Sandy, and our budgie, Beaver, had to go. My older brothers begged my parents to keep the pets and get rid of me, but you know how stubborn and foolish parents can be: The pets were given away, and my brothers began a lifelong campaign of torture against me. It wasn’t until I started researching this play and speaking with students in grades 5, 6 and 7 that I started to change my mind. These kids loved their animals and I began to understand how important pets can be to people’s emotional lives—and how much I had missed. This play is, in many ways, about those empty spaces, and the ways we find to fill them.

For ages 8-13

Kindness premiered at Manitoba Theatre for Young People in November, 2007 and was shown in Arizona, Saskatoon, and Ontario in 2008-9.

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