By Seiler Smith

Lauren McCombs and Michael Mayes in "A Kid Like Jake."
Lauren McCombs and Michael Mayes in “A Kid Like Jake.”

In a new age of tolerance, what is normal parenting? Who is considered a normal child? How far should you go to get your child into a private school? In the play “A Kid Like Jake,” by acclaimed playwright Daniel Pearle, these questions are addressed. 

“A Kid Like Jake” was the 2013 Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award winner. It runs at The Bard’s Town from Feb. 19-March 1.

The story follows a husband and wife’s attempts to get their child into a private school in New York City. On the surface, it seems as though their son Jake is a shoo-in for any school, given his test scores are high, he is well-behaved and he has a vivid imagination.

But the 4-year-old does have quirks — including a love of Disney princesses and playing dress-up. As the play’s website summarizes, it’s “the story of a husband and wife trying to do right by their son.” It goes through twists and turns and takes an in-depth look at what lengths parents go to for their children, as well as what — if any — importance there should be on labeling a child as “normal.”

“This play surprised me on first read and continues to surprise me … and I think the same will hold true for audiences,” says executive artistic director Doug Schutte. “It’s one of those rare plays that connects the audience so intimately with the characters … (it’s) about the struggle of wanting the best for our children that will engage parents and those without children alike.”

“A Kid Like Jake” is directed by Andrew Epstein and features Lauren McCombs, Michael Mayes, Laurene Scalf and Erin Jump. Tickets are $15 ($12 for students) and are available at or by calling 749-5275.

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