The Central Virginian

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Louisa caterpillar becomes a butterfly

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

Jelita Perry Hopkins

In Hope for the Flowers, one caterpillar asked another, “How does one become a butterfly?”

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar,” the friend replied.

Three years ago, Jelita Perry Hopkins went through some major changes.  Reflecting on the wisdom of the caterpillar, she embraced the idea of a one-woman show to further her own desire to fly.

In designing this show, Hopkins embraced the metaphor of the butterfly’s metamorphosis from caterpillar to cocoon to adult butterfly, describing the metaphor as “very appropriate for the lifestyle that I wanted to show.”  In the finished piece, Hopkins provides insight into the lives of several women through monologue and song as they seek to “fly or evolve.”

At 7 p.m. on Saturday evening at the Cooke-Haley Theatre at the Louisa Arts Center, Hopkins will emerge from her cocoon to present the show, Time to Fly:  A One-Woman Show conceived, directed and performed by Hopkins with Ann Porter, accompanist.

“I kind of morphed back into my background,” she noted.  Hopkins graduated from Louisa High School as the Class of 1990’s valedictorian.  Her high school years were made memorable through her participation in the arts under Choral Director Porter who now accompanies her in Time to Fly.

According to Hopkins, Porter “is known in the county as a strong musician.”  Hopkins added, “During the years that I was doing the most performing, she was always at the piano.  She’s just a tremendously talented person.”

Hopkins began her college at Shenandoah University as a music theater/voice performance major, but changed her direction prior to graduation.  She started teaching in a Louisa County elementary school in 1997 and transitioned to the high school’s chorus program in 2005.  In 2009, she assumed an additional position running the theater program, effectively assuming the role of two teachers.

To read the entire story, see the Sept.  20 edition of The Central Virginian.