“Wowie wow wow.” Junie B. Jones has been a joy to create and discover. It has been a privilege to familiarize myself with Barbara Park’s books and this delightful character and to bring her to life on the stage.

Junie B. is very much the child in all of us that got lost along the way as we grew up. Gullible, naïve, but oh so very determined when she gets on a kick, “that is that, so there!” She’s excited to learn and loves attention. She’s generally good-hearted. “Only here’s the problem”: much like the rest of us, the love she has for herself and her own pride often lead her into trouble.

Mr. Scary, the teacher, in one moment tries to persuade Junie B. to do the right thing. Of course, stubborn Junie B. is gonna have it her way or the highway. Of course, every adult understands that foresight is slightly predictable at best while hindsight is 20/20. Children, on the other hand, have no concept of foresight, except for maybe when it comes to snack time, dinner, and bed.

Junie B. charges out on her adventure to make her point and make her voice heard, all the while justifying herself and thinking her ideas are in line with what Santa Claus would think of the situation.

I’m so grateful for this role because it has offered me a chance to reflect. As a Christian, I so often make the mistake of justifying myself and allowing myself to believe that what I’m doing is the right thing to do because it’s the right thing to do. Proverbs 21:2 says, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” Junie B. has reminded me that motive will always outweigh deed.

Alysha Mitchell