What's Eating Katie?
Act I takes place over the course of one day when ED recruits Katie into engaging in an extreme diet that takes a frightening turn. Act II takes place three weeks later as the effects of her extreme diet start to take a toll on her mind and body. Act III takes place three months later, when an explosive family scene at the breakfast table ultimately lands Katie in a therapist’s office. The show ends on a hopeful note as Katie begins her journey towards recovery. Scene changes are punctuated by hilarious "commercials," spoofing the diet, fashion, fast food and fitness industries.
In 2011, Dina updated the script to include the new technologies which pervade teen life (there were no cell phones in 1996!). She also added the character of Katie younger sibling to add more depth to the family scenes. Then she collaborated with actor-composer-director Bryan Mercer to transform the show into a musical. The new version is an effective way to both entertain and transform an audience. In the Summers of 2012 and 2013, the show was performed by teens at Atlanta’s acclaimed Alliance Theater to sold-out crowds.
In 2013, at the suggestion of two Emory faculty members, Dina adapted the script for a college audience, turning Katie into an 18-year old freshman. Directed by Emory’s Ken Hornbeck through The Issues Troupe (“a program which uses theater to explore issues that deeply effect college students”) the new college version was performed by students during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014 and 2015. It was then presented at the Southern College Health Association’s Annual Meeting to dozens of college nurses and counselors.
Both versions of the script, score and Director’s Guide are available for purchase.