"Bud, Not Buddy" is the story of a 10-year-old orphan boy who runs away in search of family ties. It's set during the depression-era, but the show's leading actor says it's no wonder the message connects with kids today.
"Everyone can relate to the fact that this kid is looking for where he came from," said actor Travis Turner. "He's looking for someone to take care of him in many ways. Also, we just keep going back to the idea of home."
For teachers, who lead students through the book before seeing the play, it serves as a visual way to help students to put the past in perspective.
"This covers a huge time period of the depression and we talked about the stock market crash and the depression and what pulled us out of world war ii and the kids really got a sense of history with that," said Alyssa Dons, Orozco Academy teacher.
Although the play holds some heavy themes, it is an uplifting story.
"Bud is one of these guys who doesn't linger in his sadness and there's something to be learned by that," said director Derrick Sanders. "He may be sad for a moment but he doesn't linger. He says this is what I'm going for and this is what i need to do and this is what i learned from that and I'm pushing forward."
For students, the performance helps bring those lessons to life.
"There was a lot of action and I like how they played," said fourth grader Sarai Mariscal.
"I liked it because it was visual," fifth grader Johan Martinez said. "I could finally see it and it was very nice. The book it was imagining, but i still like the play because I could see it better."
"When you read the book you really like it but the play really brings it to life," said third grader Yamilett Estrada.
"Bud, Not Buddy" runs through February 24 at the Ruth Paige Center for Arts.
For more information and complete schedule: http://www.ruthpage.org/index.php