Greendale Resident Performs In First Stage's 'The Hundred Dresses'

Published on: 3/24/2011

Jelena Vorkapich, 12, of Greendale, can be seen in First Stage’s adaptation of THE HUNDRED DRESSES, playing at the Todd Wehr Theater at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts March 25 through April 17.

Based on the award-winning children’s novel by Eleanor Estes, THE HUNDRED DRESSES shares the story of a young Polish immigrant in the 1930s who has just moved to a new town only to face a multitude of obstacles. Trying to fit in with the other girls, Wanda proclaims she has one hundred dresses, despite wearing the same dress every day. Follow the personal journey of Maddie Reeves as she finds the courage to defend Wanda, even if that means being picked on herself. When she finds out the truth, Maddie recognizes the consequences of bullying and finds an unlikely friend.

Jelena has been involved in theater since second grade and she enjoys acting and performing because it is fun. She likes being involved in theater because it is a good way to make new friends. She has been in several shows at her school. Her previous acting credits include Dorothy in THE WIZARD OF OZ, Molly in ANNIE, JR., and a stepsister in CINDERELLA. At First Stage, she has previously performed in THE QUILTMAKER’S GIFT in 2007 and ALEXANDER in 2010.

John Maclay, First Stage’s associate artistic director and director of this production said, “This play is fun and exceptionally energized, but most of all it is truly important. THE HUNDRED DRESSES has a message that I think every young person should see and hear.” Similarly, Jelena thinks that after people see THE HUNDRED DRESSES, many will talk about bullying and how to stop it. “I think this is a cool way to just start the conversation about it and it’s importance,” she said.

Jelena’s favorite thing about THE HUNDRED DRESSES is the costumes, designed by Pam Rehberg. “The dresses are so fancy and colorful,” she shared. Despite the elaborate costumes, she enjoys being a part of something that sends a good message to the audiences.

THE HUNDRED DRESSES runs through April 17. For more information, visit www.FirstStage.org.