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CAT Theatre presents The Joshua Plant

Diego Salinas and Aaron Orensky rehearse "The Joshua Plant"
Kinney Thompson

Opening Friday, January 24, CAT Theatre will present the world premiere of The Joshua Plant.

The Joshua Plant tells the story of Joshua, a teenage boy with autism, who sees the world in a way most people cannot imagine. This heartwarming, funny and suspenseful play explores the conflict between Joshua, his mother’s boyfriend, and Joshua’s best friend Sid, the family plant.

The Joshua Plant is CAT Theatre's 2014 contribution to the Richmond Acts of Faith Festival. As part of the Acts of Faith Festival there will be a special talk back sessions with the cast, director and authors following the performances on January 25 & February 2.

Written by Amy Berlin and P. Ann Bucci, The Joshua Plant was the winner of CAT's 50th Anniversary Original Play contest and was chosen from dozens of entries. The Joshua Plant began as a ten-minute play that was a finalist in the 2005 Chicago Dramatist Fall Ten Minute Workshop. Since then, it has had three developmental readings with Phoenix Theatre and a staged reading at the Pandora Festival, as well as a reading at the Richmond Public Library as part of the Richmond Writer's series. CAT Theatre is excited to be bringing the full production of The Joshua Plant to the stage for the first time.

The inspiration for The Joshua Plant began as Bucci watched the son of her friend stare at the ocean. Bucci says, "This teen is quite similar to Joshua; he also has autism and trouble communicating, but when he watched the ocean, he was so calm and at peace, that I began to wonder what it was he saw and felt that I couldn’t see."

Berlin continues, "We both were fascinated by this idea and inspired enough to embark on a nearly decade-long journey to bring this story to the stage. Listening to our words come to life in rehearsal is just an amazing experience!"

CAT Theatre cautions that while The Joshua Plant has comedic moments and features a teenager as a principle character, harsh language and simulated violence may make the show unsuitable for pre-teens. Parents and teachers are advised to use their own discretion.

According to the Autism Society, 1 percent of the United States population of children ages 3-17 have an autism spectrum disorder. Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability.

The Joshua Plant runs through February 9, 2014. CAT Theatre is located at 319 N. Wilkinson Road, Henrico, Virginia 23227.

For more information and for tickets visit the CAT Theatre website at

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