Audience will play the jury for Mini Theatre's 'Tabatha Tutt'

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Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story gave the incorrect dates for the Augusta Mini Theatre production of The Parents of Tabatha Tutt vs. DJ Smoke. The story has been corrected. 

Young Tabatha Tutt liked the music she heard on DJ Smoke’s radio show.

Sweet and innocent, the 12-year-old sang in the choir and wanted to hang out at the mall with her friends.

Then Tabatha, the title character in The Augusta Mini Theatre’s The Parents of Tabatha Tutt vs. DJ Smoke, discovered something that might have led her on a downward spiral from which she might never recover. She discovered popular music.

The more she listened to DJ Smoke, the bolder she got. The bolder she got, the more rules she broke. She became a local celebrity for winning a weekly suggestive dance contest, earning her the nickname “Nasty Girl.”

By the time she was 16, Tabatha had three kids, had dropped out of high school and had a form of AIDS.

Did the music turn this good girl bad?

You will be the judge.

“It’s a universal theme (that) parents are saying these lyrics are destroying our kids,” said Mini Theatre founder Tyrone Butler.

He wrote the script, which will be performed by the students of Augusta Mini Theatre Community Arts and Life Skills School. Shows will be at 8 p.m. Jan. 18; 3 and 8 p.m. Jan. 19-20; and 3 p.m. Jan. 21 and Feb. 16-17 at Judy Simon Drama Studio, 2548 Deans Bridge Road. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students and $8 for groups of 10 or more from augustaminitheatre.com or (706) 722-0598.

In the play, Tabatha’s parents blame the disc jockey for the choices their daughter made and take him to court.

Through Perry Mason-style court proceedings, the jury – who also happens to be the audience – will hear testimony from both sides.

The play invites discussion about whether environmental factors, nature or genetics is the strongest determinant of a person’s actions.

During intermission, audience members will cast their vote to decide the case. A discussion will follow the play for anyone who wants to participate.

“It really is about the lyrics in the music, if they are causing any damage or not in causing our young people to go astray,” Butler said.


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