Difficult decisions in “Rosalee Was Here”

This is not the rosy coming-of-age story of years past.In “Rosalee Was Here,” the latest production by Green Candle Theatre, veteran Burlington playwright and director Maura Campbell tells the difficult tale of a troubled girl on a misguided life path.Rosalee Darien, a mischievously cunning 13-year-old girl on probation for the sexual abuse of her sister, has to be supervised at all times.This supervision is the crux of the play, as it forces graduate student Molly and school principal Mr. Holiday to juggle their busy lives with parenting Rosalee.The relationship between Rosalee and her role models defines both the strengths and difficulties of the play.While at times it is hard to watch because Rosalee is such a nasty, contentious character, dramatic scenes make the plot intriguing and dynamic.Liz Gilbert, a ninth-grader from U-32 High School, brings Rosalee to life with moments of both ferocity and incredible grace.Seasoned actress Tracey Girdich portrays Molly in scenes that depict Rosalee slowly but surely forming a bond with her mentor.It is in these scenes that unusual insights into the human behavior, especially the brilliance of a child and how children can change adults’ minds, become clear.While the intensity between Molly and Rosalee develops the plot by empowering her with motivating words, her principal, Mr. Holiday, is not as successful.Mr. Holiday, played by Dennis McSorley, is a villain with a bit of a sensitive side that Rosalee manipulates.In arguments between Mr. Holiday and Rosalee, his role in power causes him to remain a dull, static character.Dramatic scenes make “Rosalee Was Here” more than a difficult play — it becomes an introspective look on how relationships can mold a person.