NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - "Mother Hicks is a witch, people say," repeats the chant of the Ware, Illinois townspeople in the new fall play at NPHS directed by Craig Duke. Mother Hicks, Suzan Zeder's classic tale of loneliness and the search for identity, is set in the Midwest town in the Mississippi River Valley in 1935. The NPHS production tells the tangled stories of three outsiders surviving on the borders of the town’s rural society.

In the title role is Lindsay Tata, a senior, seen last spring as The Mother Abbess in the 2016 NPHS production of "The Sound of Music". Henrik Harman, a senior, plays the narrator, Tuc, who communicates through sign language. Katherine Ertman, a sophomore, plays the role of Girl who is searching for the family she never knew.

Mother Hicks is a family-friendly production based on a collection of folklore from the WPA Federal Writers Project. It chronicles the lives of three outcasts: an orphan girl known only as Girl; a deaf boy named Tuc; and an eccentric recluse, Mother Hicks, who is suspected of being a witch. The tale, told through poetry and sign language, chronicles the journeys of these three to find themselves, and each other, in a troubled time. An ensemble performs Tuc’s sign language, combining movement and language to create a unique storytelling event.

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Rounding out the cast are David Wilderotter, Elizabeth Dreitlein, Will Nissen, Ritika Sidhartha, Anna Surman and Nick Velasquez. The Stage Manager is Kim Moschella and Assistant Stage Manager is Alice Smith.

There are two performances for Mother Hicks, Friday November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the New Providence High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and are on sale online at or at the door.