Zsanna Bodor is about to experience quite the week.
The one-act play, “Call it Torte, Call it Pie,” is among those to be performed next week during Wega Arts one-act play festival.
The festival runs Thursday through Sunday, June 21-24 at the Gerold Opera House in downtown Weyauwega.
Performances are set for 8 p.m. June 21 and 22, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. June 23, and 2 p.m. June 24.
Bodor’s play will be performed three times – as part of the schedule on June 22 and 23 – and it will also feature her mother, Orsolya, playing the role of Marcelle Chevalier.
In addition, Bodor will also be among the actors on stage.
She will play the character Midge in “Boy Under Table” by Kathy Fehl, who is the artistic director of Wega Arts.
When Bodor showed up at the opera house to audition for the festival, directors Fehl, Ian Teal and Carrie Gruman-Trinkner had no idea the young girl was one of the writers whose work had been chosen for the festival.
They realized that after she wrote her name on the sign-in sheet.
“I never expected that it would be acted out,” Bodor said of the one act that she wrote for the contest.
In late March she learned about the contest through the young writers club at the Stevens Point Public Library.
Bodor, who lives in Stevens Point with parents Tamás and Orsolya and younger brothers Koppány, Bánk and Huba, was 3 years old when she moved from Hungary to the United States with her family.
Her father has a doctorate in communications and a master’s degree in history. He has been teaching communications at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point for the past several years.
Bodor loves to read and write and is particularly interested in Greek mythology and anything with a historical reference.
“I always ask for books for Christmas. I do check out books from the library often. We have a lot of books at home, too,” she said.
When she found out about Wega Arts’ one-act play festival and contest, she had about a month to complete her work.
“I was looking for something to do,” said Bodor, who also plays violin and is a member of the YMCA’s swim team. “This is my first play.”
She acted in plays when she lived in Albany, and last Christmas, surprised her father by putting together a play for him that included her mother, brothers and friends.
Bodor was homeschooled this past year and studied a lot of plays for English literature.
When it came time to start writing her own one-act play, she had no idea what the subject should be and began to doodle, which she does when she is thinking.
She drew a picture of a flapper, and that became her inspiration.
“I thought I could write something about a woman who is wealthy during the Great Depression. That is how I got the idea,” Bodor said.
Then, the research began.
During a trip to Eau Claire, Bodor remembered seeing the sign for Abbotsford and how it said “first city” on the sign.
She called the city and asked how old it was and what it was like during the Depression. She decided her main character would be from there.
When she went to Chicago with her family in April, she was able to make more connections for her writing.
In her play, the character Adele Roberts lives in a Victorian house in Chicago and has more money than she knows what to do with, yet she is living a lie.
“It’s historical in that it’s during the Great Depression,” Bodor said. “My main character was someone more wealthy. My ideas came from the city of Abbotsford.”
She came up with the title of her play thanks to a store named Call it New, Call it Antique, located in downtown Stevens Point.
Bodor liked the idea of how choosing different words to describe something can lead to a different feeling about it.
She admits that she works well under deadline pressure.
“I didn’t have much time to write,” Bodor said. “I wrote when I got up in the morning. Then I ate breakfast. Then I wrote again, and I would stop for breaks.”
During those breaks, she would have something to eat or go for a run.
Before she started writing, her parents wrote up a contract that she had to complete the project or face the consequences of additional chores.
“We’re always trying to teach them to finish what they start,” her mother said in explaining why they chose to write a contract.
Bodor received feedback about her work from her parents and also read her play out loud several times, including to her brothers and the writing group at the library.
“I definitely reworked the ending a few times,” she said.
Her father likes the play. “I loved how everything came together at the end,” he said.
Bodor’s mother was surprised by what her daughter wrote. “She had a moral story in it. We have not been teaching in vain.”
The young girl also won an essay contest in third grade and had a poem called “Beautiful Sight” published in the magazine Skribblers that same school year.
Her essay was about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” series, which was the first series of books she had really enjoyed.
Bodor likes to write about the same subjects that are featured in the books she chooses.
“At first, I wished I had written someone my age in the play, but I would rather see it on stage,” she said.