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The Secret Life of Bees Cover

The Facts

The Secret Life of Bees
by Sue Monk Kidd
Performed by
Denise Wilbanks
Wynn Handman
Wynn Handman
Recommended Ages
12 and up or 7-11


All Stage Presentations include a 15 minute pre-show interactive discussion, a one hour performance, followed by a 15 minute post-show discussion, and a teacher resource guide. To get more information, or to begin the booking process, please fill out this form.

The Secret Life of Bees / Sue Monk Kidd

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In this New York Times bestseller set during the Civil Rights Movement, a young girl's search for the truth about her mother leads her to three beekeeping sisters and the discovery of the real meaning of family.

Live performance of The Secret Life of Bees

This Literature to Life Award winner, adapted for the stage in 2005, features sixty minutes of verbatim performance from the best selling contemporary novel.  A favorite on the national educational circuit, The Secret Life of Bees has played in communities from Loveland, Colorado to Newnan, Georgia.  This masterful actress creates a setting that is intimate no matter how large the house.  She fully embodies the young protagonist, Lily, and brings us on her very personal journey for self.  Audience members will feel as if the story is being told to them alone and yet somehow it remains a community experience.  Surrounded by a pre and post show interactive discussion the audience will explore themes including civil rights and perseverance.

The Secret Life of Bees © 2002 by Sue Monk Kidd. Published by the Penguin Group and used by permission of the author.

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Literature to Life Performance at Centre
Posted by Jennifer Barnette

When she speaks — her voice carrying a youthful, Southern drawl — her audience no longer sees Denise Wilbanks, an actress with New York City’s American Place Theater. Wilbanks has lain herself aside and embodied 14-year-old Lily Melissa Owens, the main character in Sue Monk Kidd’s best-selling “The Secret Life of Bees.” Lily’s story is masterfully told — the struggles of a young girl on a journey of self discovery during the turbulent, Civil Rights era in South Carolina.


Books Come Alive for Students from Area Schools
Posted by Jennifer Barnette

Tomorrow, “The Secret Life of Bees” will come to life for high school students of the Hendrick Hudson, Haldane, Briarcliff, Croton-Harmon and Ossining districts when actress Denise Wilbanks performs all the parts herself. The students will go to Briarcliff High School to watch Wilbanks perform a section of the book, with verbatim dialogue from the text, as she brings the popular novel to life with her talent, a scant set and perhaps two props.


Theater Abuzz with Performances of The Secret Life of Bees
Posted by Rob Bradshaw

A dramatic adaptation of The Secret Life of Bees (Penguin), Sue Monk Kidd’s acclaimed Southern coming-of-age novel, is this year’s featured production of the performance-based literacy program “Literature for Life” from the New York-based American Place Theatre (APT). The solo show, which is intended for audiences of middle and high school students, will debut on April 27 in Manhattan at the New York Society for Ethical Culture as part of a benefit event for the American Place Theatre’s Literature for Life program.


Audience Response

"The way Denise portrays the characters and the use of only two props allowed me to see the play the way I saw the book, with imagination."

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